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^tate College of Agriculture 

Sit Cornell tHntbersiitp 

3t!)aca, B. S' 


G 480 pg?""'" ""'**"">' '■"'"'■V 
Across America and Asia.Notes ot a five 

3 1924 013 977 727 „. 

Cornell University 

The original of tiiis bool< is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 












Prqfenar in Haroard Ohiversityj and sometime Mining Bnffineer in the service tf the 
Chinese and Japanese Chvemmenlt> 




Entekbd according to Act of CoNaKEss in the Year 1669, by 


In the Cxjibk's Orrios of the District Court of the United States for the 
Southern District of New York. 




As so many of the following pages relate to experiences illus- 
trating the wisdom of that diplomatic policy which, in bringing 
China into the circle of interdependent nations, promises good to 
the whole world, I dedicate them to the chief author of that 



Aftee preparing the volume of " Geological Researches in 
CMna, Mongolia, and Japan," for publication by the Smithsonian 
Institution, I was induced to write a simple narration of a jour- 
ney which encircled the earth in the Northern temperate zone, at 
a time of unusual interest in several of the countries visited. 

The social disorganization in Arizona presented a phase of bor- 
der life of the worst type indeed, but most valuable as showing 
the effect of the absence of the usual restraints upon society. 

Extensive travel in the interior of Japan and China under com- 
mission from the native governments, and the long journey from 
China over the table land of Central Asia, and through Siberia to 
Europe, brought me face to face with the inhabitants of these 
interesting countries, and with the. influences which Nature has 
used in moulding them to their present forms. 

I have tried to present in a continued, series of sketches these 
important regions, which are being brought, by the reaction of 
the spirit of the age upon their natural capacities, into the circle 
of interdependent nations. 

The incidents and adventures of an eventful journey are used 
freely, as forming some of the best illustrations of the social con- 
dition of the races in the midst of which they occurred. 

During a residence of several months at Mr. Burlingame's 
house in Peking, in the most interesting period of diplomacy in 


knowledge thus acquired I have sought to embody in the chap- 
ter on Western Policy in China. 

The MS. was finished early in 1868 ; the policy, therefore, 
which is recommended in reference to our Indian question was 
arrived at before the adoption of substantially the same means by 
the present administration. 

Those of my readers who are interested in Japanese Art will 
feel as much indebted to Mr. John La Farge as I am, for kindly 
writing the chapter on that subject. 

The cuts facing pages 175 and 180, and the maps of Tesso and 
of the Tang Ho district, are taken from the Geological Researches 
in China, Mongolia, and Japan, by permission of the Smithsonian 

The wood-cuts are engraved by Messrs. W.J. andH.D. Linton. 
The lithographic maps and illustrations were executed under the 
supervision of Mr. J. Bien. I would express sincere thanks to 
both Mr.'W. J. Linton and Mr. Bien for the especial interest they 
have taken in furthering the execution of the illustrations. 

Finally, I would acknowledge the deep obligation I am under 
to the many friends abroad and at home who, by hospitality and 
a thousand kind actions, have smoothed the route of travel and 
the difficulties of publication. 



. Thb Dajbutz or Kamakuea. (Prom a Photograph.) Fkontispieob. 

The Santa Eita Vallht. (From a Sketch by H. C. Grosvencr.) To face page 12 

. The Saquaba. (Cereus gigantem.) " " 38 

. Datbkeak on the Desekt. (View from the Tinaje Alta, from a Sketch in the 

Report on the United States and Mexican Boundary.) To face page 57 

, Cbatek near Honolulu 69 

, Ftjzitama and Inosima. (Prom a Japanese Sketch.) 129 

, Volcano of Komangadake, erom Washinoki 169 ' 

. Method or Washing fob Gold * To face page 175 

Manner OP OcciTRRENCE of Stilphtjr* " " 180 

, Change FROM Polygonal to Spherical Form in Eock Masses*.. " " 180 

, Japanese Wood-Cuts AND Color Phis TING " " 198 

Japanese WooD-Cir. 3 AND Color Printing " " 199 

, Japanese Wood-Cuts and Color Printing *' *' 200 

. Japanese Wood-Cuts and Color Printing " '■ " 202 

. Temple of Heaven at Peking. (From a Photograph.) 275 

, EooFS OF THE TEMPLE OF HEAVEN. (Prom a Photograph.) 276 

Gateway before the Altar to Heaven. (Prom a Photograph.) 277 

The Altar to Heaven. (Prom a Photograph.) To face page 278 

C«REAN Embassadok. (From a Photograph.) 303 

Attendant of the Corean Embassador. (From a Photograph.) 303 

Attendant of the Coeean Embassador. (From a Photograph.) 303 

. Marble Arch in the Nan-kau Pass. (From a Photograph.) 307 

, The Great Wall. (From a Photograph.) To face page 308 

, Mongol 386 

. Mongol Peinob 386 


. Meeoatoe Chaet, showing the Authoe's Eoute To face the Preface. 

. Map of Arizona To face page 1 

. Map of Southern Tbsso * " " 143 

. Map OF the Tang Ho District.* To accompany Chap. XXm " " 306 

* From the author's " Gsoloqical Researcite^ in Chiha, Monoolia and Japan." (SmlthiOn. ItMt. 1868.) 




JiBComfort of a crowded coach— A border family— Dipping— 1. Indian Territory— Park- 
like scenery in Valley of the Red Eiver— Indian cultivation- Negro slaves held by Indiana 
—Loss of hats— Transition to the prairie lands of Northeastern Texas- 2. From prairie 
to desert— Visit from the " Eegalators "—Prairie dogs and their neighbors— The des- 
ert— 3. Camanche depredations — Effects of continued stage travelling— Scenery on 
the Pecos Eiver- Gnadalonpe Mountains— Teams of wild horaes — i. Arrival at Tnc- 
son- Warm quarters- Dryness and clearness of the air— 5. Masses of Meteoric iron— 
VaUey of the Santa Cruz — Surface structure of the valley — 6. The Mission of SanXavier 
del Bac — Stock ranches— The Santa Eita Mountains- The Canoa—Tubac— Arrival at 
the Santa Eita mines — ^7. Geography of Arizona — Granite ridges and plains — Geologi- 
cal remarks on Arizona — 8. Scarcity of surface-water — Influence of climate on the 
vegetation— 9. Transition from deserts of the coast to the forests of the interior moun- 
tains — Cereus Giganteus — Trees of the country — Arizona a good grazing country — Little 
agricultural land without irrigation— Eemains of ancient agricultural civUizatioa on 
the Gila Eiver— 10. 



Influence of climate and vegetation npon the scenery of Arizona — Journey to Fort Bu- 
chanan— Eemarkable escape of a woman from Indian captivity— 13. Fort Buchanan 
— ^A man killed by Apaches in sight of the Fort — Subsequent murders at the same place 
— Previous mining industry at the Santa Eita — ^Difliculties opposed to mining — Our 
horses and mules stolen by Apaches — Eepeated attacks — 14. Eumored withdrawal of 
the troopa — How Indian wars are begun— Violation of a flag of truce by XJ. S. troops— 
16. General consternation among the settlers— We determine to abandon the mines- 
Collecting debts — Journey to the Heintzelman Mine— A load of ore sent to the Santa 
Eita — ^Exciting journey back to the mines — 17. Suspicion of treachery — Grosvenor and 
myself set out in pursuit of delinquents— Eetum— 18. An awful night— Assassination 
of Grosvenor— 19. Arrival of troops- Burials— Discouraging prospects- Necessity of 
an Increased force at the mines — 22. Journey to the Fort— A self-recorded murder- A 
scene of destmction and a race for life— 24. Terrible weapons— Disappointment at the 
Fort— 25. Eetum to the Santa Eita— Smelting and fighting— 36. Abandonment of the 
Santa Eita— 27. 



Dtier morals— 29. Prospects of Arizona^-Need of improTed means of transportation 
—30. Ferguson's route to Lobos Bay— Harbor of Libertad— Dlfllcnlties and needs of 
metallurgy in Arizona — Fuel — Necessity of immigration — 31. Uncertainty and treach- 
ery of Mexican laborers — ^Partido system of mining — Wages at Santa Rita — Chinese la- 
bor recommended — Arizona more a! grazing than an agricultural land — Necessity of 
change in our Indian policy— 32. The cause of our Indian troubles— Needs of a roving 
population— 33. . The extermination policy— Success of the methods followed by Hud- 
son Bay Co. and by the Jesuits— 34. Treatment of Aborigines by Eussia and China- 
Policy recommended in reference to the Indians — How Indian wars are begun by Indian 
agents— 35. Excursion to the Papagoria — Scenery — 36. Wild horses— Animals on the 
sHrt of the desert— Outpost monuments of the Apaches and Papagos— 37. Mines of 
Cahuabi— A village which gets its water drop by drop — A touching Incident of Indian 
life— The giant cactus and other plants— 38. Irregular mining— 39. Night soeneiy on the 
desert— Accident to Washburn— 40. Terrible heat— Narrow escape of Poston— Watch- 
ing and nursing on the desert — 41. Arrival of a wagon— Starting for Sonora— 42. 
Starving on the desert— Relief— 43. Arrival at Saric — Kindness of the Mexican women 
— Retni'n to Arizona — 44. 



massacre at the Canoa— 45. Remarkable escape of William Rhodes— One man against 
» hundred Apaches— 46. The scene at the Canoa—" Unlmown "—47. Murder of Rich- 
mond Jones— Departure from Tnbac-48. Mexican massacre at the Heintzelman Mine 
-Murder of John Po8ton-^9. Departure from Arizona— BO. The Gate of Hell— Altar 
-Productions of Sonora— Caborca— 51. Plot to waylay us— Williams, the frontiers- 
nan— 52. Signs of the waylaying party— A revolutionaiy general— 53. Williams, from 
i new point of view— Reminiscences of a cut-throat— 54. A string of ears— The heart 
rf the desert— 57. Mummies on the desert— Volcanic cones— 58. Terrors of the 
rinaje alte— Heat of the Gila River— Sand-storms on the desert— 59. A city founded 
10 pay ferryage— Port Tuma— Beauty of the Yuma women— 60. Burning the dead— 
Canons of the Colorado— 61. " One-eyed-Jack "—Williams's plot— 62. Farewell to 
if illiams- Desert of the Colorado— A man in golden armor— 64. Cariso Creek— Parting 
salutation from the desert— Entrance into Southern California- 65. Growth of Califor- 
na^66. Engagement of Mr. Blake and the author by the Japanese Government— Ac- 
snowledgments- 67. 



jrture for Japan— Narrow escape— 68. Approach to the Sandwich Islands— Honolulu— 
19. The ParS-^Incident and superstition- 70. Geographical sketch of the Sandwich 
[slands— 71. Productions and Revenue— Influence of European intercourse— 72. De- 
jarture from Honolulu— 74. Stormy voyage— 75. First sight of Japan— Entrance to 
;he bay of Teddo — 76. Arrival at Tokohama— 77. 




Bicnrsion to Kamakam and the Daibntz— 79. Colopsal statne of Bndda— 80. Temples 
of Kamakum— 81. Excursion to the Temple of Daishi— 82. Fortnne-tellmg— 83. 
Japanese dinner— 84. 



Geological and geographical sketch of Japan— 85. Japanese chronology and historical out- 
line— 90. The Mikado — 93. Origin of the Tykoonate— 94. Modern history of the Em- 
pire— 94. Dissensions caused hy the Christians — 96. Interview with the Government — 
100. Excursion to the Oyama — 101. Silk-district of Hachiogi — 103. Japanese ma- 
sonry— Inns and beds- 103. Temple— Adventure atKoyasn— 106. Earthquakes- Shock 
— Earthquakes of Japan — 107. Phallic symbol — Tokaido — 109. Bikunins — 111. 
Language— 112. 



roritomo — Taikosama— UB. Organization of the Government— 115. Classiflcation of the 
population— 117. Balance of power— 119. Causes of trouble with foreigners— 120. 
Prince of Chosu — ^122. Enterprise of the Teddo Government — ^Murder of Richardson — 
123. Bombardment of Kagosima— 124. Western arrogance— 125. Western policy in 
Japan— 126. 



Wodowara Bay— View of Puziyama— 128. Inosima— 129. Teddo— 131. Temperament of 
tbe Japanese— 134. The social evil—Japanese houses- 135. Bathing-houses— Incident 
in a bath— 137. Diseases— Dust-storm from Cblna— 138. Physicians- Cemeteries— 139. 
Amusements — 140. Drunkenness— 141. 



Arrival at Hakodade— First journey inland— 143. Japanese horses— 145. Mines of Ichi- 
nowatari— Stamping— Machinery— Metallurgy— 145. Cost of mining and smelting— 146. 
Method of travelling — Ascent of the volcano of Komangadak^— 147. Volcano Bay— Hot 

springs ^150. Magnetic iron sand — ^Mines of Kakumi — Umbrella plant — 151. Coast 

scenery— Geology of the Peninsula— Solfatara of Esan — 152. Sulphur-works of 
Bsan— 163. Infusorial earth- Furnace to smelt iron sand— 154. Veins of copper— 156. 
Intercourse with the ofScials— 156. Hara-kiru— 157. 




Sintnism— 158. Sintu festival— 159. WorBliip of ancestors— 160. PeticMsm- Shaman- 
ism— 161. Confacianism— Sketch of Buddism— 162. Christianity- 168. 



The West Coast— 169. Petroleum— Eecent strata— The Ainos— 170. Gold washings of 
Kunnni— 172. Forest growth— The auriferous deposits- Method of washing gold— 173. 
Ancient gold washings— Festival to the dead— 174. View on Volcano Bay— 175. Offi- 
cial etiquette— Scenery on West coast— 176. Hot springs and snakes— 177. Ascent of 
Solfataraoflwaounobori— 178. Geology of the volcano— 179. Sulphur formation— 180. 
Sulphur works and production— Coal-beds-Marine life— 181. 



The Eaiden— Volcanic rocks— 183. Geological structure of Southern Tesso — ^184. Inci- 
dent— 185. Contrast between imperial and princely domain — Policy of the Tykoon- 
ate— Boat journey and scenery — 186. Marine productions — Penitentiary — Hot springs 
and snakes— 187. Bears — Lead mines of Turup— Cost of mining— Introduction of 
blasting with powder— 189. Rich mines abandoned in Japan— 190. Termination of 
our engagement— 191. Hospitality of foreigners— Voyage to Nagasaki— Nagasaki— 
192. Cemeteries- 193. 



Gradual appreciation of Japanese art in the West— 195. Its characteristics— 196. Its value 
and position in the general history of art— 197. 



Shanghai- 203. Foreign estimate of the Chinese— 204. Specimen of foreign treatment of 
the Chinese- 205. 



The Slnian system of mountains— Mountains and rivers— 207. Climate— Diversity of plant 
life— 209. Animal life— 210. Mineral resources— Routes of travel and commerce— 211. 
Boutes for railways— Caravan routes— 213. 




Shipwrecked— 215. Siege of Nanking— The rebellion— 211. General Ward and his boI- 
diers— 220. Chinese Sieges— 2S1. Scenery on the Yangtz'— 223. Hankau— 224. Wu- 
chang— Preparations tor boat-joumey— 226. 



Fever— Onr boat— 229. Tungting lake— Pagodas and Fungshni— 230. Seriona adTentnre 
with soldiers— 231. Adventure at Changsha— 235. Preparation for famine— 236. Tai- 
ping Canal— 237. Curiosity fofled- 238. The gong at home— 239. Opium and its con- 
sumption—The Sinian system of mountains— 240. Eocks of the Upper Yangtz' — 
The Ichang gorge— 2il. Knormous thickness of Emestone- Climbing the rapids— 242. 
Lucan gorge — The Mitan gorge— 244. Devonian limestone — Coal-field of Kwei — 
Dragon festival— 245. Ketum— 246. 



Incentives to emigration and reasons why the Chinese return home— 247. Effect of the 
Pacific railroad on immigration — 249. Importance of the (juestion from an ethnological 
point of view — 250. Hostility of the Irish toward the Chinese— The political element 
in the problem— 251. The Chinese in California— Californian estimates of the value of 
Chinese labor— 252. The Chinese in Java— 253. Chinese in Singapore— 254. They 
seem destined to people and develop the wealth of the tropics— 254. Sketch of the 
Chinese character and political and social principles— 256. The dangers and advanta- 
ges of nnllmited immigration of Chinese into America— 262. The political aspect of 
the question— 264. 



Takn— Tientsin— 266. Plain of Chih-li— Sand-storms- 267. Granite Causeways— Walls 
of Peking— Adventure of Count Eiisseloff- 268. Description of Peking— Walk on the 
Wall— 270. Drum Tower— 272. Cabs— 273. Market of Peking— 274. Temple of 
heaven— 275. State religion of China— 278. Temple of agriculture — Ceremony of the 
golden plough— Lapidary work — 279. Curiosity shops — Bookstores — Extent of litera- 
ture— 280. 



Jonmeylon the plain— 283. Bnddist Monastery— The Sacred Cave— 285. Buddist monas- 
■ teries— 286. 




Interview with the TenEgli-yamun— 287. Commissioned to examine the coal mines— My 
party— S88. Characteristic scene— Chinese money— 289. Geology of the coal district 
of Chaitang— 290. The mines and coal— 291. Chinese mining— 292. lions in the 
path— 293. Wild scenery— 294. Wang's story— 295. Coal-fleld of Mnntakau- An un- 
popular magistrate— 296. Adventure— 299. Coal-fleld of Fangshan— Difficult journey 
through a mine— A merry dinner party — 300. Torchlight journey- 301. An official 
dinner— Anecdote— 802. Corean Embassy— 303. 



Tomhs of the Ming dynasty— 30B. Nankau pass— 307. Marhle-arch— The great wall— 308. 
Ancient lakes of TTorthem China— An im willing doctor— 309. Legend of Ki-ming 
mountain— 310. Coal mines^-Public kitchen— 311. Kalgan — Trachytic porphyry — 
The Great Wall— 313. Ascent to the plateau of Central Asia— 315. A sharply-defined 
boundary — Influence of the climat-e on inhabitants of Central Asia — 216. View from a 
ruined tower— 317. Antelopes — Lost^-Lama temple— 318. A caravanseiy— Stove-beds 
—319. Dishonesty and honesty— 321. Method of planting— 322. Structure of the pla- 
teau— 323. Adventure at a farm-house— 324. Dr. Pogojeff's patients— 325. Mongol 
dwellings— 326. Lava stream— 327. Adventure with a chieftainess— 328. Dried-up 
lakes— Talley of the Kirnoor— Ancient water levels— 329. Lama temple— 330. Bud- 
dist Monasteries— Valley of the Ta-lmi— 331. Mohammedan rebellion— 332. Adven- 
ture at Pung-ching— 333. View from the Great Wall— 334. Deep erosion— A mob at 
Yang-kau— 353. Eapid erosion— 336. The Eoman mission at Siwan— 337. Samdad 
Chiemba— Return to Peking— 338. 



War of 1840—339. The last war— 340. Fall of Peking— Prince Kung and the revolution— 
342. Wise course of England in the last war— Advantages gained by the treaties— 343. 
The retaliation policy— 344. Advantages of direct intercourse— 345. The anti-foreign 
party— The " cooperative policy"— 346. Necessity of strengthening the Central Gov- 

omment— Danger of the Exterritoriality clause— 347. The Burgevine imbroglio 

Ward's soldiers— 349. The foreign customs service— 350. Needed reforms in the ad- 
ministration and judiciary— Adoption of international law— Translation of Wheaton— 
351. The Lay-Osborne flotUla— 352. The Regency and the Emperor— 353. Influence 
of public opinion in China— 354. The Chtuese and foreign innovations— 365. The 
missionary problem— 356. Letter from Sii' F. Bruce— 358. 



An erratic mis8ionaiy^359. Condition of Christian missions In China— 360.- Prepara- 
tioiLS for a journey across Asia— 364. 




7ojage— Immense numbers of Medusae — 365. Departure from Peking— 366. Our caravan 
—Intense cold on the plateau— 367. Mongolian tea— 368. Dryness of the climate— Ter- 
rific storms— 369. Our cooking— 370. Our lama— 372. The broad-taUed sheep— 378. 
The Bactrian camel — Kc-soling a camel's foot. — .375. The winter sun on the plateau — 
376. The mask of ice— Fierce storm — 377. Fighting against odds — 378. Lamasery — 
380. The plateau and the Gobi desert — 381. Urga— Tlie Grand Lama— 382. Colossal 
statue of Budda — Praymg machines— The Biiddlst and Eoman rituals— 383. Infln. 
ence of Buddism on the Mongols— Chinese policy toward Mongolla^-384. Physical 
characteristics of the Mongols— 386. Kiachta and Maimaichin — 387. 



Russian baths — 388. Gold deposits of Eastern Siberia— Frozen inundations — 389. English 
iron brought from Cliina — Cost of freight from China — Wolves — 390. A Cossack vil- 
lage— 391. National dance — 392. Journey over lake Baikal on the ice— Earthquake of 
1861- Beauty of the ice— 394. The frozen mist— 39S. Irkutzk— Termak and the Eus- 
sian conquest — 396. Geographical sketch of Siberia — 397. Siberia as a penal colony — 
Eeflned society in Siberia— 400. Industries— Trade — 402. Overland tea trade— Impor- 
tance and practicability of a railway from China to Europe — 403. Vices of the Siberi- 
ans — 404. Eemarkable device for gambling — 406. 


SIBERIA (continued). 

Preparations for journey to Europe— Methods of travelling — 407. Travelling dress— In- 
tense cold — 409. Siberian inns^410. 70 degrees below zero — My lady companion — 411. 
View from the north flank of the Altai mountains — 413. Winter landscape — 414. My 
companion a second EUzabeth— 415. Trouble at Omsk— 116. Post stations— Eussian 
superstitions — 417. Ekaterinburg— Lapidary work — The gold washings — 418. Meth- 
ods of washings — 419. Depressing effect of government tax on gold mining— Journey 
to the iron and copper works of Tagilsk — The iron mountain — 420. Copper ores — 
Process of sheet-iron manufacture — 421. Effect of emancipation on labor— Departure 
from Ekaterinburg — 423. Esiles — Crossing the Ural mountains — Kazan — ^Nijui Nov- 
gorod to Moscow — 423. Extremes of climate on the journey — Prospective growth of 
Bassia — 424. Prospective condition of the Chinese at home and abroad — 426. 


Extract from Report of Consul Harvey of Ningpo, to Sir F. Brace, on the Eebellion-^28. 

Eeligiona bearing of the Eebellion ; by Eev. W. Muirhead— 432. 



Agrionltural prodnctions of the Proviuce of Chihli ; from Eeport of Mr. Consul Gibsor 
to the British GoTemment— 439. 

Analyaia of Chinese and Japanese coals; made for E. Pumpelly by Mr. J. A. Macdonald— 442. 


Tabular statement of the production of the private gold-washinge of Trana-Baikalia 
during twenty years— 446. 

1W. 116° " 





108 ■■ 


Willi pari of 


to accompany ■ 

r.pumpelly's narrative 

from the latest Maps of I Ik- 

U. S.En0necr Dcparlinenl 

'amp Vnllcn 


^_.'>''"..V i v_ 

m 1^ 




Ik the autumn of 1860 I reached the "westernmost end of the 
ilroad in Missouri, finishing the first, and, in point of time, the 
ortest stage in a journey, the end of which I had not even at- 
mpted to foresee. My immediate destination was the silver 
ines of the Santa Rita, in Arizona, of which I was to take 
arge, as mining engineer, for a year, under the resident super- 

Having secured the right to a back seat in the overland coach 
far as Tucson, I looked forward, with comparatively little 
ead, to sixteen days and nights of continuous travel. But the 
rival of a woman and her brother, dashed, at the very outset, 
y hopes of an easy journey, and obliged me to take the front 
at, where, with my back to the horses, I began to foresee the 
ming discomfort. The coach was fitted with three seats, and 
ese were occupied by nine passengers. As the occupants of 
e front and middle seats faced each other, it was necessary for 
ese six people to interlock their knees ; and there being room 
side for only ten of the twelve legs, each side of the coach was 
■aced by a foot, now dangling near the wheel, now trying in 
lin to find a place of support. An unusually heavy mail in the 
>ot, by weighing down the rear, kept those of us who were on 
e front seat constantly bent forward, thus, by taking away all 
pport from our backs, rendering rest at all tunes out of the 

My immediate neighbors were a tall Missourian, with his wife 
id two young daughters ; and from this family arose a large 
irt of the discomfort of the journey. The man was a border 
illy, armed with revolver, knife, and rifle ; the woman, a very 
\.g, ever following the disgusting habit of dipping— filling the 


air, and covering her clothes with snuff; the girls, for several days 
overcome by sea-sickness, and in this having no regard for the 
clothes of their neighbors ; — these were circumstances which 
offered slight promise of comfort on a journey which, at the best, 
could only be tedious and difiicult. 

For several days our road lay through the more barren and 
uninteresting parts of Missouri and Arkansas ; but when we en- 
tered the Indian territory, and the fertile valley of the Red 
river, tlie scenery changed, and we seemed to have come into 
one of the Edens of the earth. Indeed, one of the scenes, still 
bright in my memory, embraced the finest and most extensive of 
natural parks. 

Coming suddenly to the brow of a high bluff we found that we 
had been travelling over a table-land, while beneath us lay a 
deep and widely-eroded valley, the further limits of which were 
marked by distant blue hills. The broad flat bottom-land was 
covered with a deep-green carpet of grass, and dotted, at intervals 
of a few miles, with groves of richly-colored trees. As a work 
of Nature it was as much more beautiful than the finest English 
park, as Nature had spent more centuries in perfecting it than 
the nobleman had spent years. 

The fertile country reserved for the Indians is only partially 
cultivated by them. Although considerable success has attended 
the attempts to elevate these tribes, the ultimate result of the 
experiment is by no means certain. The possession of negro 
slaves by the Indians could not but be attended by even greater 
evils than the use of this labor among the white population. 

Before reaching Fort Smith every male passenger in the stage 
had lost his hat, and most of the time allowed for breakfast at 
that town was used in getting new head-coverings. It tui-ned out 
to be a useless expense, however, for in less tlian two days we 
were all again bareheaded. As this happens to the passengers 
of every stage, we estimated that not less than fifteen hundred 
hats were lost yearly by travellers, for the benefit of the popula- 
tion along the road. 

After passing the Arkansas river, and travelling two or three 
days through the cultivated region of northeastern Texas, we 
came gradually to the outposts of population. The rivers became 
fewer, and deeper below the surface; the rolling prau'ie-land 


covered with grass gave way to dry gravelly plains, on which 
the increasing preponderance of species of cacti, and of the 
yucca, warned us of our approach to the great American desert. 
Soon after our entrance into this region we were one morning 
all started from a deep sleep by the noise of a party coming up 
at full gallop, and ordering the driver to halt. They were a rough- 
looking set of men, and we took them for robbers until their 
leader told us that they Avere " regulators," and were in search 
of a man who had committed a murder the previous day at a 
town we had passed through. 

" He is a tall fellow, with blue eyes, and red beard," said the 
leader. " So if you have got him in there, stranger, you need'nt 
tote him any further, for the branch of a mesquit tree is strong 
enough for his neck." As I was tall, and had blue eyes and a 
red beard, I did not feel perfectly easy until the party left us, 
convinced that the object of their search was not in the stage. 

The monotony of the route across the desert was somewhat 
varied by the immense republics, as they are commonly termed, 
of prairie dogs. The plains inhabited by these animals were 
covered by the low mounds raised over the entrance to their 
buiTOWs, and separated from each other by a distance only of a 
few yards. As we approached them the animals disappeared ; but 
at some distance from us, ahead and on either side, thousands of 
the dogs were visible, each one squatting on the top of a mound, 
and regarding us with the most intense curiosity. As we came 
nearer, one after the other suddenly plunged its head into its 
burrow, and, after wagging its fat body for an instant, disappeared 
altogether. Here and there a solemn owl, perched at the mouth 
of the burrow, or a rattlesnake basking at the entrance in the sun, 
showed that these dwelHngs were inhabited by other occupants 
than their builders. One can scarcely picture a more desolate 
and barren region than the southern part of the Llano Estacado 
between the Brazos and the Pecos rivers. Lying about 4,500 
f«et above the sea, it is a desert incapable of supporting other 
plant or animal life than scattered cacti, rattlesnakes, and lizards. 
Our route winding along the southern border of this region, kept 
on the outskirts of the Camanche country. 

Here we were constantly exposed to the raids of this fierce tribe, 
which has steadily refused to be tamed by the usual process of 


treaties and presents. They were committing serious depreda- 
tions along the route, and had murdered the keepers at several 
stations. We consequently approached the stockade station- 
houses with considerable anxiety, not knowing whether we should 
find either keepers or horses. Over this part of the road no lights 
were used at night, and we were thus exposed to the additional 
danger of having our necks broken by being upset. 

The fatigue of uninterrupted travelling by day and night in 
a crowded coach, and in the most uncomfortable positions, was 
beginning to tell seriously upon all the passengers, and was pro- 
ducing a condition bordering on insanity. This was increased 
by the constant anxiety caused by the danger from Camanches. 
Every jolt of the stage, indeed any occurrence which started a 
passenger out of the state of drowsiness, was instantly magnified 
into an attack, and the nearest fellow-passenger was as likely to 
be taken for an Indian as for a friend. In some persons, this 
temporary mania developed itself to such a degree that their own 
safety and that of their fellow-travellers made it necessary to 
leave them at the nearest station, where sleep usually restored 
them before the arrival of the next stage on the following week. 
Instances have occurred of travellers jumping in this condition 
from the coach, and wandering off to a death from starvation 
upon the desert. 

Beyond the Pecos river the scenery became more varied. The 
route lay over broad plains, where the surface sloped gently 
away from castellated and cliff-bound peaks. Here, from an 
hundred miles away, we could see the grand outlines of the 
Gaudaloupe mountains, planted like the towers and walls of a great 
fortress, to render still more difficult the approach to the great 
wastes lying to the north and east. 

Over the hard surface of this country, which is everywhere a 
natural road, we frequently travelled at great sppedj wrtb only 
half-broken teams. At several stations, six wild horses were 
hitched blind-folded into their places. When everything was. 
ready, the blinds were removed at a signal from the driver, and 
the animals started off at a run-away speed, which they kept up 
without slackening till the next station, generally twelve miles 
distant. In these cases the driver had no further control over 
Ids animals than the ability to guide them; to stop, or even check 

UP. l] ARIZONA. 5 

lem, was entirely beyond his power ; the frightened horses fairly 
ying over the ground, and never stopping till they drew up 
shausted at the next station. Nothing but the most perfect 
resence of mind on the part of the driver could prevent acci- 
ents. Even this was not always enough, as was proved by a 
;age which we met, in which every passenger had either a 
andaged head or an arm in a sling. 

At El Paso we had hoped to find a larger stage. Being disap- 
ointed in this, I took a place outside, between the driver and 
Dnductor. The impossibility of sleeping had made me half 
elirious, and we had gone but a few miles before I nearly un- 
dated the driver by starting suddenly out of a dream. 

I was told that the safety of all the passengers demanded that 
should keep awake ; and as the only means of effecting this, my 
eighbors beat a constant tatoo with their elbows upon my ribs, 
luring the journey from the Rio Grande to Tucson my delirium 
icreased, and the only thing I have ever remembered of that 
art of the route was the sight of a large number of Indian camp- 
res at Apache pass. My first recollection after this, is of being 
wakened by the report of a pistol, and of starting up to find 
lyself in a crowded room, where a score or more of people were 
iiarrelling at a gaming table. I had reached Tucson, and had 
irown myself on the floor of the first room I could enter. A 
)und sleep of twelve hours had fully restored me, both in mind 
id body. 

My first thought was to make the necessary preparations for 
le journey to Tubac and the Santa Rita. Having soon succeeded 
I securing a place in a wagon which was to start in a day or 
vo, I gave up the interval to see the little of interest in the town 
ad neighborhood. 

It was here that I first saw the efiect of an extremely dry and 
•ansparent atmosphere. All the ravines and rocks of the Santa 
Ata mountains are distinctly visible from Tucson, a distance of 
Lore than thirty miles ; and in the very dry season, as at the time oi 
ly visit, the tall pines on the summit could be clearly distinguished 
landing out against the sky. 

Accustomed to judge of heights and distances in the atmosphere 
f the Eastern States and Europe, I did not hesitate, on being first 
3ked to guess at the distance, to place it at less than ten miles. 


The most interesting objects of cxiriosity in the town were the 
two great masses of meteoric iron which have been mentioned by 
the various travellers who have passed through .this region.* 
These had long lain in a blacksmith shop, serving as anvils, and 
nothing but the impossibility of cutting them had saved them 
from being manufactured into spurs, knives, etc. The largest 
mass, half buried in the ground, had the appearance of resting 
on two legs j but when removed, in 1860, it was found to be a ring 
of iron, varying from 38 to 49 inches in its external, and from 
23 to 26^ inches in its internal diameter, and weighing about 
1,600 pounds. It lies now in the middle of the great hall of the 
Smithsonian Institution at Washington, bearing the name of the 
Ainsa Meteorite, having been brought, in 1735, from the Sierra de 
la Madera by Don Juan Bautista Ainsa, and forwarded to Wash- 
ington by his descendants. The other, shaped like a slab, about 
4 feet long, 18 inches broad, and 2 to 5 inches thick, weighs 632 
pounds, and is now in San Francisco, having been sent thither in 
1862 by General Carleton. f 

Leaving Tucson early in the morning, we ascended the valley 
of the Santa Cruz by a sandy road. At first we passed a few 
patches of land cultivated by irrigation, but soon these were suc- 
ceeded by the broad sandy plains of this region, relieved from 
absolute barrenness only by a great number of acacia trees, and 
a still greater abundance of cacti, of many and large varieties. 

The valley of the Santa Cruz, after bending around the Santa 
Eita mountains, widens out north of Tubac into a broad plain, 
rising gently toward the Santa Rita mountains on the east, and 
the Tinajita mountains on the west. The material forming this 
plain is part of an extensive marine deposit, probably of the 
Quaternary age, which has filled all the valleys of the western 
parts of Arizona and Sonora south of the Gila river. Its depth and 
the loose character of its sand and gravel material causes the 
almost immediate disappearance of the water that falls in the 
rainy season, and this is only brought to or near the surface 
where the rocks underlying the plain-deposit rise. Thus we find 
only those plants growing on these plains which require the least 
amount of water for their sustenance. 

* See " Bartlett'B Explorations," Vol. II. p. 297. 

+ An analysis of this mass by Prof. G. J.' Brash, and description of both pieces, has been 
given by Prof. J. D. Whitney in the proceedinijs of the California Academy of Bciences, Vol. 
in, pages 30 and 43, from which papers the above details are extracted. 


A few miles brought us to San Xavier del Bac, an ancient mis- 
sion founded by the Jesuits for the conversion of the Papago 
Indians. The mission building is still in tolerable preservation, 
with all the interior ornamentation and objects of worship of the 
chapel. The successors of the zealous founders have long since 
disappeared, but the Indians, with a feeling of mixed pride and 
superstitious reverence, guard it according to their ability as a 
sacred legacy. 

"We passed several stock ranches, situated on the river at points 
where water could be obtained. The houses have generally only 
one room, are built of sun-dried mud, and roofed with branches of 
the mesquit, covered with a layer of mud. 

Late at night we camped about ten miles north of Tubac. 
Early the next morning we were startled from sleep by the 
approach of a wagon, which turned out to contain the Superintend- 
ent of the Santa Rita mines, Mr. H. C. Grosvenor, and a friend, 
who had come out to meet me. 

As we continued our journey southward, the character of the 
country gradually changed. 

For a short distance the bed of the Santa Cruz was filled 
with running water, and its banks supported a grove of large 
Cottonwood trees, giving a welcome shade from the hot rays of 
the sun, while a heavy growth of grass covered the flat. 

On our left rose the high, double-peaked Santa Rita, the highest 
of the mountains of Arizona south of the Gila river. A bold, 
precipitous spur, the Picacho del Diabolo, juts out into the valley, 
a promontory of naked rock, and a favorite post from which the 
Apache watches for the opportunity to make a raid. 

Crossing the Santa Cruz, we passed the Canoa, a stockade 
house used as an inn, a place destined to see in the following year 
an awful massacre. A further ride of fourteen miles brought us 
to the old Spanish military post of Tubac. The restored ruins 
of the old village were occupied by a small mixed population of 
Americans and Mexicans, while near by a hundred or more Papagc 
Indians had raised a temporary camp of well-built reed lodges. 

After breakfasting we left Tubac, and travelling eastward 
about ten miles, now ascending the dry bed of a stream, now cros- 
sing the gravelly mesa, we reached the hacienda of the Santa 
Rita mines, my destination. 


Arizona, at the time of my visit, comprised simply the tract of 
country known as the Gadsden Purc hase, having been b ought ^f 
the Mexican Go vernnient, through our Minister, Mr. Gadsden, 
for $10,000,0 00, to serve as a southei-n route for a railroad to tEe 
Pacific. Taken from the States of Chihuahua and JSonora, it was 
bounded by these on the south, by the Gila river on the north, 
the Colorado river on the west, and the Kio Grande on the. east- 
It thus formed a long narrow strip lying between 31 and 33 
degrees N"., and containing about 30,000 square miles. The pres- 
ent boundaries of Arizona are Utah and Nevada on the north, 
New Mexico on the east, Sonora on the south, and California on 
the west. • 

Western Arizona * and northwestern Sonora, of which I have 
more particularly to speak, lie between the watershed of the 
Rocky Mountains and the depression occupied by the Gulf of 
California and the Colorado river. 

This region is crossed by parallel granite ridges, running 
generally north or northwest, and rarely more than sixty miles 
long and ten to thirty miles apart. The intervals between the 
mountains are occupied by plains rising gently from the centre to 
the ridges on either side, and extending around the ends of these. 
Thus the whole country is a great plain, out of which rise the many 
outlying sierras of the Rocky range, as islands from the sea. 
Of these peaks probably none reach a height of 10,000 feet above 
the ocean, while the elevation of the plains increases gently from 
the level of the Gulf of California to about 6,000 feet at the water- 
shed between the Gila and the Rio Grande. 

The greater number of the mountain ridges, especially those 
having a northerly and northwesterly trend, are of granite, 
flanked near the base with crystalline schists ; and to this struc- 
ture IS due the regularity of their sierra outlines. Districts of 
hilly land of much less elevation than the sierras are made up oi 
porphyritio rocks, limestones, and metamorphio strata, of unde- 
termined age, which give to the hills rounded outlines, broken here 
and there by cliffs and jagged dykes of intrusive rocks, or by 
metalliferous veins. 

Large areas of the country were once covered by a sheet of 

* Now Arizona, south of the Gila. 

CHAP. I.] ABIZOJt/'A. 9 

volcanic rock, -which now remains, capping many summits left by 
erosion, and forming the picturesque sombrero, or hat-hills. 

The valleys, as was said above, are occupied by a thick deposit, 
chiefly of loose sand and angular gravel, which has filled up the 
inequalities of the surface. 

In western Arizona and northwestern Sonora, over a belt reach- 
ing nearly one hundred miles from the coast, the fall of rain is 
very small, and has not been sufficient to cut even the smallest of 
water-courses in the loose deposit of the plains. But further 
east, as we approach the higher land and the Santa Rita moun- 
tains, the annual precipitation is greater, and broad valleys with 
caiions are everywhere cut deep into the plains, leaving these 
last to be represented only by the mesas or terraces remaining 
between the valley and the sierras on either side. 

Properly speaking, the whole region in question has no rivers 
excepting the Gila, the bed of which above its junction with the 
Salinas river is often, and below that point sometimes, dry. 
Bartlett supposes the Gila river to be navigable as far as the 
Salinas with small flat-botttjm boats, during the season of high 
water. The little rain that falls over a vast region fills the water- 
courses for only a few hours, after which what is not evaporated 
sinks, to follow its under-ground course through the loose sand 
of the stream bed. 

Where the water collects during the rainy season in natural 
rock tanks, or in clayey depressions in the soil, it quickly evapo- 
rates, leaving a crust of soda, lime, and potash-salts, which, spread 
as they often are over large areas of the desert region, aid in 
heightening the efiect of the mirage. 

Climatic influences have given a marked and peculiar character 
to the vegetation of this part of the continent. Toward the 
coast of the Gulf of California the plains are barren and arid 
deserts, where the traveller may ride hundreds of miles without 
seeing other plants than dry and thorny cacti. Granite moun- 
tains border ing these deserts are even mo re awful in their barren-^ 
ness ; neither tree no r cactus, nor e ven a handful o f earth, can b e 
seen on their sides ; t hey tower hig h above the pla ins, great 
masies oi white rock reflecting the rays of the sun with dazzling 

The only supplies of water to be found over an area of many 


thousand miles, are at a few points in the mountains, where the 
rains leave in natural tanks enough to last for a few months. 
During the rainy season, which sometimes fails, shallow pools are 
formed in slight depressions on the surface, to be exhausted after 
a few days' exposure to the fierce rays of the sun. 

Further from the coast, the plains begin to show more vege- 
tation; gradually appear the palo-verde, the mesquit, and a 
greater variety of cacti, and on the hills skittered saguaras (the 
giant Cereus). Still further east appears a denser growth of mes- 
quit and palo-verde, out of which rises a perfect forest of the gi- 
gantic columns of the saguaras, covering the lowlands and foot- 
slopes of the Baboquiveri range. Between these mountains and 
the peaks of the Santa Rita, the character of the country changes ; 
the plains are cut in the direction of the longer axis by the deep 
valleys, which receive tributary ca2ons from the mountains on 
either side. All that here remains of the original plains are the 
mesas or table-lands lying between the river and the sierras. 

These mesas, consisting of loose gravel and sand, retain much 
of the desert appearance, but they are clothed with a hardy grass, 
and stunted acacias. In many of the valleys the bottom-lands 
have an extensive growth of the bean-bearing mesquit ; and 
large Cottonwood trees, and in some places fine groves of ash, 
shade the beds of streams in the neighborhood of hidden or run- 
ning Avater. 

On the hill-sides, above the level of the mesas, are scattered 
the dwarf live-oaks of the country, the trees varying from twelve 
to twenty-five feet in height, and presenting the appearance of 
old apple-orchards. Higher up the mountain-sides the oaks are 
mingled with cedars, and at an elevation of about 6,000 feet above 
the sea begin the few pine forests of this part of the Rocky Moun- 

The abundant growth of grass, and the mildness of the win- 
ters, render central Arizona a country well adapted to grazing. 
But away from the Gila river, excepting at a few scattered points, 
there is no land suitable for cultivation, owing to the absence of 
water for irrigation. On the extensive bottom-lands of the Gila, 
the ruins of long-fallen towns and of large aqueducts, and widely 
distributed fragments of pottery, indicate the former occupation 
of this region by an ancient and industrious population, related 


probably to the scattered remnants of the Moqui race, who are 
fast dying out in their strongholds on the high table-lands of the 
Colorado river, their last refuge from the more savage tribes by 
which they are now surrounded. The widely-spread traces of their 
arts, and the ruins of their many-storied buildings, sometimes 
built of stone, prove that this race once cultivated great areas of 
country which are now desert wastes. 



The hacienda of the Santa Rita mines, which was to be my 
home, lay in a broad and picturesque valley, shut in on the north 
by the lofty range of the Santa Rita mountains, and on the south 
by high and castellated cliffs of dark porjihyries and white tufa. 
Through, the open valley, toward the west,~ towering over fifty 
miles of intervening country, the horn-like peak of the Babo- 
quivcri mountain was always visible, its outline sharply cut 
on the cU'ar sky. The Santa Rita valley consists mainly of mesa- 
land, its outline broken by jagged rocks, rising like islands from 
the plain, or by the round-backed spurs from the mountains. The 
surface of these spur-hills is roughened by a net-work of innume- 
rable mineral veins. 

The drainage from the mountains passes through the valley in 
a deeply-cut canon, containing here and there a little water, while 
tnroughout the rest of the valley, with the exception of two or 
three small springs, water can be had only by digging. The tree 
growth has the characteristics of the country given in the last 
chapter. A few cottonwoods occur along the water-courses, and 
a good growth of mesqult trees and acacias covers the bottom- 
land. The mesa is the home of a great variety of cacti, the 
yucca, and the fouquiera, a shrub sending up froni the root a large 
number of simple stems, covered with sharp thorns, and in the 
season bearing beautiful flowers. Scattered live-oaks twenty to 
thirty feet high are peculiar to the spur hills. As we approach 
the summits of the higher hills the live oaks give place to small 
cedars, while on the Santa Rita . mountains, at an elevation of 
about 6,000 feet, begins an invaluable but limited growth of fine 
pine timber. 

The whole valley and its enclosing hills are covei-ed with abun- 
dant grass of several kinds, which, while of great importance to 
the country, give to it a parched appearance. It is in reality a 
crop of hay, never being green excepting where burnt off before 

i -fv^ r^ i!^^" 

•' ILi'i ■'■' 'I'Vl'l"- „ ''"' 

lliii'il i 

llil, lllri 

lllll 'i 

I- ' V! 

h r 



the rainy season. The peculiar effect of this vegetation is height- 
ened by the abundance of the short columnar fish-hook cactus, 
the yucca, the broad thorn-pointed leaves of the Spanish bayonet, 
and the tall lance-like stem of the century plant, bearing its 
gracefully-pendant flowers. 

The scenery of Arizona, dependent in great part on its climate 
and vegetation, is unique, and might belong to another planet. No 
other part of the world is so strongly impressed on my memory 
as is this region, and especially this valley. Seen through its won- 
derfully clear atmosphere, with a bright sun and an azure sky, or 
with every detail brought out b y the intense light of the moon, this 
valley has seemed a paradise ; and again, under cu'curnstances of 
intense anxiety, it has been a very prison of hell. 

A few days after my arrival at the mines, in company with M)-. 
H. C. Grosvenor, the agent, I started on a journey to Fort 
Buchanan, twenty-two miles distant. Our route lay in part 
through a rocky and gloomy defile, along one of the war-trails of 
the Apaches leading into Sonora. From the countless tracks in the 
sand it was evident that a successful party of raiding savages 
had returned with a large drove of horses and mules. 

A few miles before reaching the fort we stopped at the house of 
an Arkansas family, one of the daughters of which had escaped most 
remarkably a few months before from Indian captivity and death. 
She had been married the previous year, and had accompanied 
her husband to the Santa Rita mountains, where with a party of 
men he was cutting timber. While alone in the house one day, 
she was surprised and taken off by a small band of Apaches, who 
forced her to keep up with them in their rapid journey over the 
mountain ridges, pricking her with lances to prevent her falling 
behind. The poor woman bore up under this for about ten miles, 
and then gave out altogether, when the savages, finding they 
must leave her, lanced her through and through the body, and 
throwing her over a ledge of rooks, left her for dead. She 
was soon conscious of her condition, and stopping the wounds 
with rags from her dress, she began her journey homeward. Creep- 
ing over the rough country and living on roots and berries, she 
reached her home after several days. I was told that the first 
thing she asked for was tobacco, which she was in the habit of 


Continuing our journey through the valley of a trihutary of 
the Santa Cruz river, we reached our destination — Fort Bu- 
chanan. This fort, lik e most of our military establishments in the 
Rocky Mountains, consisted simply of a few adobe hou ses, scattere d 
in X straggling m anner "over a considerable area, and without even 
a stockade defence. What objec t th e (jovei-nment had in pro - 
hibiting the building of either block or stockade forts, I could 
never learn. "Ce"rtainIy~ar'mofe"useless system of fortification 
t l;an that ado pted thronghout the Indian countries, cannot be well 
i magined. In this case the Apaches could7 and frequently did, 
prowl about the very d oors of the diflei-entTiouse's. N^officer 
thought of going from one house to another at night without 
holding himself in readiness w ith a cockedTpisto l. During the 
subsequent trouble s with the Indians, when~the scatte red white 
population of the country was being massacred on all sides for 
wgjit of a protection the Government was bound to give, the com- 
mandant needed the whole farce of 150 or 200 men to defend the 
United States property, while with a better and no more costly 
s ystem of fortification this could have been ac complished with 
o ne quarter that number, and the lives of many settlers saved by 
tl.e remaining force. ~~ 

The next day, after riding out with Lieutenant Evans to see 
some springs which are forming a heavy deposit of calcareous tufa, 
we started on the return journey. We had passed a thicket about 
500 yards from the fort, and had gone a little distance beyond 
this, when we met a man driving a load of hay. In a few minutes, 
hearing the report of a gun, we looked back, but having made a 
turn in the road and seeing nothing, we rode on our way. Seve- 
ral days afterward, I learned that the man we had met had been 
killed by Indians hidden in the thicket, and that the shot we 
heard was the one by which he fell. The Apaches were proba-j 
bly few in number, as they did not attack Grosvenor and my-1 

The victim was a young man from the Southern States, and ; 
letter in his pocket showed that he had been to California to frej^ 
and place in safety a favorite slave. On his way home, findini 
himself out of money, he had stopped to earn enough to carry 
him through, when he died the common death of the country. 
Four years later, my successor, Mr. W. Wrightson, and Mr. Hop 


kins were killed at tliis same thicket by Apaches, who afterwards 
massacred the few soldiers left to garrison the fort. 

The valley of Santa Rita had been, it is said, twice during 
the past two centuries the scene of mining industry ; and old 
openings on some of the veins, as well as ruined furnaces and 
arastras, exist as evidence of the fact. But the fierce Apaches 
had long since depopulated the country, and with the destruc- 
tion of the great Jesuit power, all attempt at regular mining 

The object of the Santa Rita Company was to re-open the old 
mines, or work new veins, and extract the immense quantities of 
silver with which they were credited by Mexican tradition. In 
Mexico, where mining is the main occupation of all classes, tales 
and traditions of the enormous richness of some region, always 
inaccessible, are handed from generation to generation, and form 
the idle talk of the entire population. The nearer an ancient 
miae may be to the heart of the Apache stronghold, the more 
massive the columns of native silver left standing as support at 
the time of abandonment. It is not strange, therefore, when wc 
consider how easily our people are swindled in mining matters, 
that we find them lending a willing ear to these tales, and believ- 
ing that " in Arizona the hoofs of your horse throw up silver with 
the dust." 

The capital of our company was not proportionate to the re- 
sults expected to be achieved, and the work before us was corre- 
spondingly difficult. Everything had to be done with the means 
furnished by the country. We needed fuel, fire-proof furnace 
materials, machinery and power, and the supply of these fur- 
nished by nature in Arizona was of a kind to necessitate a 
great deal of trouble and experimenting, when taken in connec- 
tion with the peculiar character of our ore. This and the work 
of exploi-ation and opening of the veins kept me closely occupied 
through the winter. 

The season was promising to pass without our hacienda being 
troubled by the Indians, when one morning our whole herd of 
forty or fifty fine horses and mules was missing. There were 
no animals leffto follow with, and the result of a day's pursuit 
was only the finding of an old horse and two jackasses. 

Several times during the remainder of the Winter and Spring 


we were attacked by Apaches, and our mines were the scene of 
more fighting than any other part of the territory. 

Aside from this, little of note occurred, until news came that 
the troops were to be recalled, leaving the country without any 
protection. The excitement was very great among the settlers, 
who were scattered over the country in such a manner as to be 
unable to furnish mutual assistance. 

To make the matter worse, the military began an uncalled-for 
war with the Apaches. In the beginning of April, I believe, some 
Indians, of what tribe was not known, carried oif a cow and a 
child belonging to a Mexican woman living with an American. 
Upon the application of the latter, the commandant at Fort 
Buchanan dispatched a force of seventy-five men to the nearest 
Apache tribe. The only interpreter attached to the expedition 
was the American who was directly interested in the result. 

Arriving at Apache pass, the home of the tribe, the lieutenant 
in command raised a white flag over his tent, under the protec- 
tion of which six of the principal chiefs, including Cachees, one of 
the leaders of the Apache nation, came to the camp and were 
invited into the tent. 

A demand was made for the child and cow, to which the Indi- 
ans replied, truly or falsely, that they knew nothing of the matter, 
and that they had not been stolen by their tribe. 

After a long parley, during which the chiefs protested the 
innocence of their tribe in the matter, they were seized. One of 
the number in trying to escape was knocked down and pinned 
to the ground with a bayonet. Four others were bound, but 
Cachees seizing a knife from the ground, cut his way through 
the canvas and escaped, but not without receiving, as he after- 
ward told, three bullets fired by the outside guard. 

And this happened under a United States flag of truce. At 
this time three of the most powerful tribes of the nation were 
concentrated at Apache pass, and when Cachees arrived among 
them, a war of extermination was immediately declared against 
the whites. 

The next day they killed some prisoners, and in retaliation the 
five chiefs were hung. Our troops, after being badly beaten, were 
obliged to return to the fort. 

In the meantime, orders came for the abandonment of the ter- 


ritory by the soldiers. The country was thrown into consterna- 
tion. The Apaches began to ride through it rough-shod, succeeding 
in all their attacks. The settlers, mostly farmers, abandoned their 
crops, and with their families concentrated for mutual protection 
at Tucsort, Tubac, and at one or two ranches. 

"When, in addition to this, the news came of the beginning of the 
rebellion at the East, we decided that as it would be impossible 
to hold our mines, our only course was to remove the portable 
property of the company to Tubac. We were entirely out of 
money, owing a considerable force of Mexican workmen and two 
or three Americans, and needed means for paying for the transpor- 
tation of the projierty, and for getting ourselves out of the country. 

As the Indians had some time before stopped all working of 
the mines, our stock of ore was far too small to furnish the amotmt 
of silver needed to meet these demands, and our main hope lay 
in the possibility of collecting debts due to the company. In 
pursuance of this plan I started alone but well armed to visit the 
Heintzebnan mine, one of our principal debtors. The ride of 
forty miles was accomplished in safety, and I reached the house 
of the superintendent, Mr. J. Poston, in the afternoon. Not being 
able to obtain money, for no one could afford to part with 
bullion, even to pay debts, I took payment in ore worth nearly 
$2,000 per ton, with a little flour and calico. This was dispatched 
in the course of the afternoon, in charge of two of the most fear- 
less Mexicans of the force at the mine. 

The next morning I started homeward alone, riding a horse I 
had bought, and driving before me the one that brought me over. 
I had so much trouble with the loose animal, that night found 
me several miles from our hacienda. 

Only those who have travelled in a country of hostile Indians 
know what it is to journey by night. The uncertain light of the 
stars, or even of the moon, leaves open the widest field for the 
imagination to fill. Fancy gives life to the blackened yucca, and 
transforms the tall stem of the century plant into the lance of an 
Apache. The ear of the traveller listens anxiously to the breath- 
ing of his horse ; and his eye, ever on the alert before and behind, 
must watch the motions of the horse's ears, an{l scrutinize the sand 
for tracks, and every object within fifty yards for the lurking-place 
of an Indian. 


Still, night is the least dangerous time to travel, as one is not 
easily seen so far as hy day. But after a few night journeys I . 
found the mental tension so unhearahle that I always chose the 
day-time, prefen-ing to run a far greater risk of death to being 
made the prey of an overstrained imagination. Then, too, in such 
a state of society as then existed, the traveller in the dead of 
night approaches a solitary house, perhaps his own, with much 
anxiety, the often occurring massacres of the whites and Mexicans 
by Indians, and the as frequent murders of the Americans by 
their own Mexican workmen, rendering it uncertain whether he 
may not find only the dead bodies of his friends. 

About three miles from the hacienda, in the most rocky part 
of the valley, the horse in front stopped short, and both animals 
began to snort and show signs of fear. There could be little 
doubt that Indians were in the iieighborhood. Both horses 
started off at a run-away speed, leaving all control over either one 
out of the question. Fortunately, the free horse, taking the lead, 
made first a long circuit and then bounded off toward the hacienda, 
followed by my own. ' After a break-neck course over stony 
ground, leaping rocks and cacti, down and up steep hills, and tear- 
ing through thomy bushes, with clothing torn and legs pierced 
by the Spanish bayonet, I reached the house. 

The wagon with the ore, although due that morning, had not 
arrived, and this was the more remarkable as I had not seen it on 
the road. When noon came the next day, and the ore still had 
not arrived, we concluded that the Mexicans, who knew well its 
value, had stolen it, packed it on the mules, and taken the road to 

Acting on this supposition, Grosvenor and myself mounted our 
horses, and, armed and provisioned for a ten days' absence, started 
in pursuit. 

We rode about two miles, and descended to the foot of a long 
hill, making a short cut to avoid the bend of the wagon-road, . 
which for lighter grade crossed the dry bed of the stream a few 
hundred yards higher up. 

We were just crossing the arroyo to climb the opposite hill, 
when looking up we saw the missing wagon just coming in sight 
and beginning the descent. One of the Mexicans rode a wheel 
mule, while the other was walking ahead of the leaders. We had 


evidently judged our men wrongly, and when Grosvenor jDroposed' 
that we should go on and come back with them, I objected, on 
the ground that the Mexicans, seeing us prepared for a long jour- 
ney, would know at once that we had suspected them. We there- 
fore decided to turn back, but taking another way homeward we 
immediately lost sight of the wagon. After riding a few hundred 
yards we dismounted at a spring, where we rested for a quarter 
of an hour, and then rode home. 

l^tFe afternoon passed away without the arrival of the wagon, 
we supposed it had broken down, and at twilight Grosvenor 
proposed that we should walk out and see what caused the delay. 
I to ok down my hat to go, but, being engaged in important work , 
c oncluded not to leave it, w hen my friend said he would go only 
to a point close by, and come back if he saw nothing. It was 
soon dark, and the two other Americans and myself sat down to 
tea. By the time we left the table, Grosvenor had been out about 
half an hour, and we concluded to go after him. 

Accompanied by Mr. Robinson, the book-keeper, and leaving 
the other American to take care of the house, I walked along the 
Tubac road. We were both well armed ; and the full moon, just 
rising above the horizon behind us, lighted brilliantly the whole 
country. We had gone about a mile and a half, and were just 
beginning to ascend a long, barren hill, when, hearing the mewing 
of our house-cat, I stopped, and, as she came running toward us, 
stooped and took her in my ai-ms. 

As I did so, my attention was attracted by her sniffing the air 
and fixing her eyes on some object ahead of us. Looking in the 
direction thus indicated, we saw near the roadside on the top of 
the hill, the crouching figure of a man, his form for a moment 
clearly defined against the starlit sky, and then disappearing be- 
hind a cactus. I dropped the cat, which bounded on ahead of us, 
and we cocked our pistols and walked briskly up the hill. But 
when we reached the cactus the man w;as gone, though a dark 
ravine running parallel with our road showed the direction he had 
probably taken. Of Grosvenor we yet saw nothing. Continuing 
our way at a rapid pace and full of anxiety, we began the long de- 
scent toward the arroyo, from which we had seen the wagon at noon. 
Turning a point of rocks about half-way down, we caught sight of 
the wagon drawn oif from the road on the further side of the arroyo. 


The deep silence that always reigns in those mountains was unbro- 
ken, and neither mules nor men were visible. Observing something 
very white near the wagon, we at first took it for the reflected 
light of a camp-fire, and concluded that the Mexicans were en- 
camped behind some rocks, and that with them we would find our 
friend. But it was soon evident that what we saw was a heap of 
flour reflecting the moonlight. Anxiously watching this and the 
wagon, we had approached within about twenty yards of the lat- 
ter when we both started back — we had nearly trodden on a man 
lying in the road. My first thought was that it Avas a strange 
place to sleep m, but he was naked and lying on his face, with his 
head down-hill. The first idea had barely time to flash through 
my mind, when another followed — it was not sleep but death. 

As we stooped down and looked closer, the truth we had both 
instinctively felt was evident — ^the murdered man was Grosvenor. 

It would be impossible to describe the intensity of emotion 
crowded into the minute that followed this discovery. For the 
first time I stood an actor in a scene of death ; the victim a dear 
friend ; the murderers and the deed itself buried in mystery. 

The head of the murdered man lay in a pool of blood ; two 
lance-wounds through the throat had nearly severed it from the 
body, which was pierced by a dozen other thrusts. A bullet-hole 
in the left breast had probably caused death before he was muti- 
lated with lances. He had not moved since he fell by the shot that 
took his life ; and as the feet were stretched out in stripping the 
corpse, so they remained stretched out when we found him. The 
body was still warm, indeed he could not have yet reached the 
spot when we left the house. 

I have seen death since, and repeatedly under circumstances 
almost equally awful, but never with so intense a shock. For a 
minute, that seemed an age, we were so unnerved that I doubt 
whether we could have resisted an attack, but fortunately our 
o-uTi situation soon brought us to our senses. "We were on foot, 
two miles from the house, and the murderers, whoever they might 
be, could not be far off, if indeed the spy we had seen had not 
already started them after us. Looking toward the wagon, I 
thought I could discover other bodies, but we knew that every 
instant of time was of great importance, and without venturing 
to examine closer we started homeward. 




There was only one white man at the hacienda, and a largo num- 
ber of peons, and ^ve did not yet know whether the murderer, 
were Indians, or Mexicans who would probably be in collusion 
with our own workmen. 

If they were Indians, we might escape by reaching the house 
before they could overtake us ; but if they were our Mexicans, we 
could hardly avoid the fate the employe at the house must al- 
ready have met with. 

Taking each of us one side of the road, and looking out, one to 
the left, the other to the right, our revolvers ready, and the cat 
running before us, we walked quickly homeward, uncertain whether 
we were going away from or into danger. In this manner wo 
went on till within a half a mile of the houses, when we reached 
a place where the road lay for several hundred yards through a 
dense thicket — the very spot for an ambush. We had now to 
decide whether to take this, the shorter way, or another, which by 
detaining us a few minutes longer would lead us over an open 
plain, where we could in the bright moonlight see every object 
within a long distance. The idea of being able to defend our- 
selves tempted us strongly toward the open plain, but the con- 
sciousness of the value of every minute caused us to decide quickly, 
and taking the shorter way we were soon in the dark, close 
thicket. As we came out into the open valley, the sensation of 
relief was like that felt on escaping untouched from a shot you 
have seen deliberately fired at you. Just before reaching the 
house, we heard Indian signals given and answered, each time 
nearer than before ; but we gained the door safely, and found all 
as we had left it ; the American, unaware of danger, was making 
bread, and the Mexicans were asleep in their quarters. We kept 
guard all night, but were not attacked. 

Before daylight -we dispatched a Mexican courier across the 
mountains to the fort, and another to Tubac, and then went after 
Grosvenor's body. We found it as we had left it, while near the 
wagon lay the bodies of the two Mexican teamsters. 

We were now able to read the history of the whole of this 
murderous afiaii*. The wagon must have been attacked within 
less than five minutes after we had seen it at noon, indeed while 
we were resting and smoking at the spring not four hundrccT" 
y^rds from tnc spot. A party of Indians, fifteen in number, as 


we found by the tracks, had sprung upon the Mexicans, who seem 
unaccountably not to have used their firearms, although the sand 
showed the marks of a desperate hand to hand struggle. Having 
killed the men, the Apaches cut the mules loose, emptied the 
flour, threw out the ore, which was useless to them, and drove the 
animals to a spot a quarter of a mile distant, where they feasted on 
one of them and spent the day and night. A party was left behind 
to waylay such of us as might come out to meet the team. When 
Grosvenor neared the spot he was shot by an Indian, who, crouching 
behind a cactus about ten feet distant, had left the.impression of hia 
gunstock in the sand. Knowing well that their victim would be 
sought by others, they had left the spy we had seen ; and had not the 
cat directed our attention to him at the moment when he was mov- 
ing stealthily away, thereby causing us to walk rapidly to the scene 
of the murder, and faster back, we could hardly have escaped the 
fate of our friend. 

During the day Lieutenant Evans arrived with a force of nine 
teen soldiers, having 'with difficulty obtained the consent of his 
commandant, and soon after Colonel Poston reached the mines 
with a party of Americans. Graves had been dug, and, after 
reading < the burial service and throwing in the earth, we fired a 
volley and turned away, no one knowing how soon his time might 

I now foresaw a long and dangerous work before us in extract- 
ing the silver from our ore. "We could, indeed, have abandoned 
the mines, and have escaped from the God-forsaken land by ac- 
companying the military, which was to leave in two weeks. But 
both Mr. Robinson and myself considered that we were in duty 
bound to place the movable property of the company in safety 
at Tubac, and to pay in bullion the money owing to men, who 
without it coiild not escape. To accomplish this would require 
six weeks' work at the furnace, crippled as were all operations 
by the loss of our horses and mules. 

It was of the first importance that we should increase our force 
of Americans, not only for protection against the Apaches, but 
more especially against the possible treachery of our Mexican 
workmen, for at almost every mine in the country a part or all 
of the whites had been murdered by their peons. One of tho 
party which had come that day from Tubac was engaged on the 


spot. Partly in the hope of getting a small force of soLliers who 
should remain till the abandonment began, and partly to per- 
suade an American who lived on the road to the fort to join ns, 
I resolved to accompany Lieutenant Evans, who was obliged to 
return the next day. 

Taking with me a young Apache who had been captured while 
a child, and had no sympathy with his tribe, I rode away with 
Lieutenant Evans, intending to return the next day. The wagon- 
road lay for ten miles along a tributary of the Sonoita valley, 
then ascended the Sonoita for twelve miles to the fort, while a 
bridle-path across the hills shortened the distance some two or 
three miles by leaving the road before the junction of the two 
valleys. To reach the house of the American whom I wished to 
see, we would have to follow the wagon-road all the way ; and as 
more than a mUe of it before the junction of the valleys lay 
through a narrow and dangerous defile, on an Apache war-trail that 
was constantly frequented by the Indians, Lieutenant Evans 
would not assume the responsibility of risking the lives of his 
men in a place where they would be at such disadvantage. 
While I felt obliged to acknowledge that it would be imprudent 
to take infantry mounted on mules through the defile, it was of 
the first necessity that I should see Mr. Elliot Titus, the American 
living near the junction of the valleys. At the point where the 
hill-trail left the road, bidding good-bye to Lieutenant Evans, 
who, could he have left his men, would have accompanied me 
himself, I was soon alone with Juan, my Apache boy. As we 
neared the gorge I observed that Juan, who was galloping ahead, 
stopped suddenly and hesitated. As I came up he pointed to 
the sand, which was covered with fresh foot-tracks. 

It was evident that a considerable party of Indians had been 
here within half an hour, and had dispersed suddenly toward the 
hills in different directions. Our safest course seemed to be to 
press forward and reach Titus's house, now about two miles off. 
We were on good horses, and these animals, not less alarmed 
than ourselves, soon brought us through the defile to the Sonoita 
creek. To slip our horses' bridles without dismounting, and 
refresh the animals with one long swallow, was the work of a 
minute, and we were again tearing along at a run-away speed. 
We had barely left the creek when we passed the full-length im- 

24 ACBOSS -AMEBIOA Aim ASIA. [chat, u 

pression of a man's foim in the sand with a pool of blood, and 
at the same instant an unearthly yell from the hills behind us 
showed that the Apaohes, although not visible, were after us, and 
felt sure of bringing us down. Our horses, however, fearing 
nothing so much as an Indian, almost flew over the ground and 
soon brought us in sight of Titus's hacienda. This lay about two 
hundred yards off from the road in a broad valley shaded by 
magnificent live oaks. 

As we rode rapidly toward the houses I was struck with the 
quietness of a place generally full of life, and said so to Juan. 

" It's all right," he replied ; " I saw three men just now near 
the house." 

But as we passed the first building, a smith's shop, both horses 
shied, and as we came to the principal house, a scene of destruc- 
tion met our eyes. 

The doors had been forced in, and the whole contents of the 
house lay on the ground outside, in heaps of broken rubbish. 
N"ot far from the door stood a pile made of wool, corn, beans, and 
flour, and capping the whole a gold watch hung from a stick 
driven into the heap. Stooping from the saddle I took the watch 
and found it still going. 

As I started to dismount, to look for the bodies of the Ameri- 
cans, Juan begged of me not to stop. 

" They are all killed," he said, "and we shall have hardly time 
to reach the road before the Indians come up. Promise me," he 
continued, " that you will fight when the devils close with us ; if 
not I will save myself now." 

Assuring the boy, whom I knew to be brave, that I had no idea 
of being scalped and burned without a struggle, I put sjjurs to 
my restless horse, and we were soon on the main road, but not a 
moment too soon, for a large party of Apaohes, fortunately for 
us on foot, were just coming down the hill and entered the trail 
close behind us. A volley of arrows flew by our heads, but our 
horses carried us in a few seconds beyond the reach of these mis- 
siles, and the enemy turned back. Slackening our speed we were 
nearing a point where the road crossed a low spur of the valley- 
terrace, when suddenly several heads were visible for an instant 
over the brow of the hill and as quickly disappeared. Guessing 
instantly that we were cut off by another band of Indians, and 


knowing that our only course was to run the gauntlet, we rode 
slowly to near the top of the hill to rest our animals, and then 
spurred the terrified horses onward, determined if possible to break 
the ambush. We were on the point of firmg into a party of men 
who came in full view directly as we galloped over the brow of the 
hill, when a second glance assured us that instead of Apaches they 
were Americans and Mexicans, burying an American who had 
been killed that morning. It was the impression of this roan's 
body which we had seen near the creek. He had been to the 
fort to give notice of the massacre of a family living further 
down the river, and on his return had met the same fate, about 
an hour before we passed the spot. An arrow, shot from above, 
had entered his left shoulder and penetrated to the ribs of the 
other side, and in pulling this shaft out a terrible feature of these 
Aveapons was illustrated. The flint-head, fastened to the shaft 
with a thong of deer-sinew, remains firmly attached while this 
binding is dry ; but as soon as it is moistened by the blood, the 
head becomes loose, and remains in the body after the arrow is 
withdrawn. The Apaches have several ways of producing terrible 
wounds ; among others by firing bullets chipped from the half oxi- 
dized mats of old furnace-heaps, containing copi^er and lead com- 
bined with sulphur and arsenic. But perhaps the worst at short 
range are produced by bullets made from the fibre of the aloe root, 
which are almost always fatal, since it is impossible to clear the 

On reaching the fort and seeing the commandant, I was told 
by that officer that he could not take the responsibility of weaken- 
ing his force, and that the most he could do would be to give me 
an escort back to the Santa Rita. As the troops from Fort 
Breckenridge were expected in a few days, I was led to expect 
that after their arrival I might obtain a small number of soldiers. 
But when, after several days had passed without bringing these 
troops, the commandant told me that not only would it be im- 
possible to give us any protection at the Santa Rita, but that he 
could no longer give me an escort thither, I resolved to return 
immediately with only the boy Juan. In the meantime a rumor 
reached the fort that a large body of Apaches had passed through 
the Santa Rita valley, had probably massacred our people, and 
were preparing to attack Tubac. I was certainly never under a 


stronger temptation than I felt then to accept the warmly-pressed 
invitation of the officers, to leave the country with the military, 
and give up all idea of returning to what they represented as cer- 
tain death. But I felt constrained to go back, and Juan and my- 
self mounted our horses. I had hardly bid the officers good-by 
when an old frontiersman, Mr. Robert Ward, joined us, and declared 
his intention of trying to reach his wife, who was in Tubac. As 
we left the fort a fine pointer belonging to the commandant fol- 
lowed us, and as he had become attached to me, we had no diffi- 
culty and few scruples in enticing him away to swell our party. 
AVe took the hill trail, it being both shorter and safer, and had 
reached a point within three miles of the Santa Rita without 
meeting any very fresh signs of Indians, when the dog, which 
kept always on the trail, ahead of us, after disappearing in the 
brush by an arroya, came back growling and with his tail between 
his legs. We were then two or three hundred yards from the 
thicket, and spurring our horses we left the trail and quickly 
crossed the arroya a hundred yards or more above the ambush, 
for such the fresh Indian tracks in the dry creek ^lad shown it 
to be. 

We reached our mines safely, and found that although almost 
constantly surrounded by Apaches, who had cut ofF all communi- 
cation with Tubac, there had been no direct attack. Our entire 
Mexican force was well armed with breech-loading rifles, a fact 
which, while it kept off the Indians, rendered it necessary that 
our guard over our peons should never cease for an instant. Nor 
did we once during the long weeks that followed place ourselves 
in a position to be caught at a disadvantage. Under penalty of 
death no Mexican was allowed to pass certain limits, and in turn 
our party of four kept an unceasing guard, while our revolvers 
day and night were never out of our hands. 

AVe had now to cut wood for charcoal and haul it in, stick by 
stick, not having enough animals to draw the six-horse wagons. 
This and burning the charcoal kept us nearly three weeks before 
we could begin to smelt. Our furnaces stopd in the open air 
about one hundred yards from the main house, and on a tongue 
of high-land at the junction of two ravines. The brilliant light 
illuminating every object near the furnace exposed the workmen 
every night, and all night, to the aim of the Apache. In order 


to obtain timely notice of the approach of the Indians, we pick- 
eted our watch-dogs at points within a hundred yards of the 
works ; and these faithful guards, which the enemy never succeeded 
in killing, more than once saved us from a general massacre. 
The whole Mexican force slept on their arms around the furnace, 
taking turns at working, sleeping, and patrolling, receiving ra- 
tions of diluted alcohol, sufficient to increase their courage with- 
out making them drunk. 

More than one attempt was made by the Apaches to attack us, 
but being always discovered in time, and failing to surprise us, 
they contented themselves with firing into the force at the fur- 
nace from a distance. In the condition to which we all, and es- 
pecially myself, had been brought by weeks of sleepless anxiety, 
nothing could sound more awful than the sudden discharge of a 
volley of rifles, accompanied by unearthly yells, that at times 
broke in upon the silence of the night. Before daylight one morn- 
ing our chief smelter was shot while tending the furnace ; it then 
became necessary for me to perform this duty myself, uninterrupt- 
edly, till I could teach the art to one of the Americans and a 

I foresaw that the greatest danger from the Mexicans was to 
be anticipated when the silver should be refined, and made ar- 
rangements to concentrate this work into the last two or three 
days, and leave the mine immediately after it was finished. 

Dispatching a messenger, who succeeded in reaching Tubac, I 
engaged a number of wagons and men, and on their arrival every- 
thing that could be spared was loaded and sent off. The train 
was attacked and the mules stolen, but the owner and men es- 
caped, and bringing fresh animals, succeeded in carrying the prop- 
erty into Tubac. 

At last the result of six weeks' smelting lay before us in a pile 
of lead planchas containing the silver, and there only remained 
the separating of these metals to be gone through with. During 
this process, which I was obliged to conduct myself, and which 
lasted some fifty or sixty hours, I scarcely closed my eyes ; and 
the three other Americans, revolver in hand, kept an unceasing 
o-uard over the Mexicans, whose manner showed plainly their 
thoughts. Before the silver was cool, we loaded it. We had the 
remainino- property of the company, even to the wooden machine 

28 A0B0S3 AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. n. 

for -working the blast, in the returned wagons, and were on the 
■way to Tubac, -which -we reached the same day, the 16th of June. 
Here, -while the last -wagon -was being unloaded, a rifle -was acci- 
dentally discharged, and the ball passing through myTiafr above" 
t he ear d eafened m e for the whole afternoon. 

Thus ended my experience of eight months of mining opera- 
tions in an Apache stronghold. 



The social condition of Arizona from 1857 till 1862, and later, 
was one -which could not fail to furnish much food for thought 
to even a superficial observer. When the country came into the 
possession of the United States, it was almost entirely depopu- 
lated, excepting the Indian tribes. After the conclusion of the 
Gadsden treaty it was entered by Colonel C. D. Poston with a 
party of explorers, and soon gained a reputation as a silver dis- 
trict from the high assays of ores discovered by that party. A 
considerable number of companies were soon formed to work 
mines in various parts of the country. In addition to the people 
sent out to work in different capacities at the mines, an American 
population, both floating and settled, was soon formed, mostly 
from the Southern States, and of men unaccompanied by families. 
Many of these were old frontiersmen, many more were refugees 
from the slackly-administered justice of Texas, New Mexico, and 
California ; and when the vigilance committee cleared San Fran- 
cisco of its worst social elements, a large number of the ruffians 
and gamblers expelled from that city made their home in Arizona. 
In addition to this there flowed into the country many thousands 
of Mexicans, who had formed the most degraded class in a land 
where social morality was, in every respect, at its lowest ebb. 

There was hardly a pretense at a civil organization ; law was 
unknown, and the nearest court was several hundred miles distant 
in New Mexico. Indeed, every man took the law into his own 
hands, and the life of a neighbor was valued in the inverse ratio 
of the impunity with which it could be taken. Thus public 
opinion became the only code of laws, and a citizen's popularity 
the measure of his safety. And popularity, in a society com- 
posed, to a great extent, of men guilty of murder and of every 
Clime, was not likely to attach to the better class of citizens. 
The immediate result of the existing condition of public opinion 
was to blunt all ideas of right and wrong in the minds of new- 


comers who, suddenly freed from the legal and social restraints of 
the East, soon learned to justify the taking of life by the most 
trifling pretexts, or even to destroy it for the sake of bravado. 
Murder was the order of the day among a total white and peon 
population of a few thousand souls ; it was daily committed by 
Americans upon Americans, Mexicans, and Indians ; by Mexicans 
iipon Americans ; and the hand of the Apache was, not without 
much reason, against both of the intruding races. The treachery 
of Mexican workmen went to such an extent that I believe there 
was hardly a mine in the country at which the manager, or in 
several instances all the white employes, had not been at some- 
time assassinated by their peons for the sake of plunder. 

Such has been the condition of society in, a part of our country 
within the past ten years : and it existed without the influence of 
actual war. It is true that a state of things more or less resem- 
bling that I have tried to sketch is incidental to the early his- 
tory of many frontier districts, but it can hardly be said to have 
augured well for the future of a region in which it was claimed 
that an enduring civilization was springing up on the ruins of the 
Jesuit efibrts, which were really far more successful. 

That the region in question has a future that is both bright 
and near, there can, I think, be little doubt. Its prospects are 
dependent on the development of a mineral industry and the 
occupations subservient thereto. My own observations have con- 
vinced me that Arizona contains many rich deposits of silver, cop- 
per, and lead, and probably of gold also ; but to work these profit- 
ably will require, in most if not in all instances, the overcoming of 
peculiar obstacles that now exist. Without at present touching 
upon the Indian question, the first essential to success is an im- 
provement in the means of transportation from the mines to the 
coast, and betw een the difl'erent mining districts. During the 
short period when mining industry "was trying to struggle into 
existence, supplies, including machinery, reached Tucson in cen- 
tral Arizona, by three different routes : from Indianola, Texas, 
1087 miles; from Fort Yuma, on the Colorado river, over 250 
miles ; and from Guaymas, on the Gulf of California, nearly 400 
miles distant. 

A shorter and safer route than any of these will be necessary, 
-nd when furnished with a good wagon road, or ultimately with 


a railway, the first essential to tlie development of industry of any 
kind will have been attained. 

A reconnoissance, made for the Government by Major Fergus- 
son, has shown that a good wagon-route exists between Tucson 
and Lobos Bay on the Gulf of California. The distance is 211 
miles, or about IVl miles from Tubac, and by digging a limited 
number of wells the road would be made easily practicable at all 
seasons. The harbor of Libertad, on Lobos Bay, is considered 
by Major Fergusson to be a good one, and capable of admit- 
ting vessels of heavy draught.* 

Owing to the scarcity of fuel and water, and to the character 
of the ores, it is probable that the mining companies will be 
obliged to have central reduction works, or to sell a part or all of 
their ores to such establishments, carried on independently. The 
owners of these works, by being able to mix and grade the vari- 
ous ores of different mines, would have it in their power to reduce 
them far more cheaply and with less loss of silver than could the in- 
dividual mines. Low-grade ores, comparatively free from lead and 
zinc, and containing under $80 to $100 silver per ton, would prob- 
ably be most cheaply worked by the Spanish-American amalga- 
mation, or patio process ; whUe the richer and poorer classes of 
silver ores, containing much copper, zinc, antimony, and arsenic, 
not being suitable for amalgamation, would work well in the fur- 
nace when mixed with the oxidized and unoxidized silver-lead ores 
of the country. 

For fuel, the mines and works must, for some time to come, be 
dependent on the scanty mesquit and live-oak trees, as the 
nearest coal known is 200 to 300 mUes distant. The scantiness 
of the growth of these trees, and their small size, will soon raise 
the cost of fuel. In view of this, experience might prove it to be 
desirable to carry the smelting only so far as the production of 
rich mats and argentiferous lead, and to ship both these products 
from the nearest port. 

The troubles with the hostile tribes will disappear before the im- 
migration that will be necessary to inaugurate successfully a min- 
ing industry and to furnish the mines with means of subsistence. 

* See "Letter of the Secretary of War commnnicating copy of report of Major D. Fcrgns- 
son on the country, its reaonrces, and the route between Tucson and Lobos Bay. Senate, 
37th Congress, Ex. Doc. No. 1." 


An important obstacle to be overcome is the uncertain charac 
ter of Mexican labor. The Mexicans in Arizona, freed from th 
restraints of peonage, which is practically a system of slaverj 
and working for Americans, toward whom they feel only hatred 
give full play to the treachery of their character. In this connec 
tion the proximity of the boundary line is a serious evil. 

Mexican labor is good when properly superintended, or bette 
yet when employed on the partido plan, in which gangs workinj 
in ore are interested to the extent of a specified share. 

At the Santa Rita, workmen at the furnace received $1 pe 
day of twelve hours; able-bodied miners $15 per month; an( 
other Mexican laborers $12. In addition to these wages, eacl 
man had weekly a ration of sixteen pounds of flour. At th 
same time, American workmen received from $30 to $70 per montl 
and. board. ' 

The system of paying the Mexicans the greater part of thei 
wages in cotton and other goods, on which the company made 
profit of from one hundred to three hundred per cent., reduce( 
the cost of labor to a minimum. This last plan, however, beinj 
foreign to American ideas, would soon disappear before the core 
petition that would arise under the influence of a vigorous mininj 

It seems doubtful whether Americans * can be profitably usei 
for hard work in the climate of Arizona, but I think it not im 
probable that voluntary Chinese labor would be found to b 
highly advantageous and superior to the Mexican. 

Arizona, although very inferior as an agricultural region, is ce 
pable of supplying a large mining population with the first neces 
sities of life. The plains and. valleys of the higher portion hav 
large tracts of good grazing-land ; and many now barren valleys 
when skUfuUy irrigated, as was anciently the valley of the Gil 
river, would yield abundant crops of corn, wheat, and othe 

So long as the present lack of all humane relations exists be 
tween the various Apache tribes and the whites, safety for proj: 
erty and person will obtain only through an ever-increasing in 
migration and the gradual extermination of the warlike occupant 
of the soil. 

* By Americans I refer thronghont to the white natives of the United States. 


One cannot but look upon the history of our intercourse with 
the original owners of our country as a sad commentary on the 
Protestant civilization of the past two centuries. In the history 
of no other conquest, heathen or Romish, do we find such a record 
of long-continued atrocity and treachery on the part of the con- 
querors, or of utter failures of badly-conceived and dishonestly- 
executed plans for the elevation of the conquered race. The ex- 
ample of duplicity set by tlie early religious colonists of ISTew 
England, has been followed by an ever-growing disregard for the 
rights of the Indian ; and for nearly two hundred and fifty years 
the outposts of our population have been the theatres of scenes 
for which no centralized government would dare assume the re- 

So long as our population continued small, and its advance 
slow, the extensive reserves set aside for Indians seemed to offer 
a lasting home for the rapidly-vanishing race ; and later, when 
our fast-increasing and wide-spreading numbers sought only 
agricultural lands, it seemed that, as a hunting people, they 
might find abundant area for subsistence on the table-lands of the 
Rocky Mountains. But this, the last hope of the remaining tribes, 
is being destroyed, since the continued discoveries of the precious 
metals have drawn our pioneers to every nook, no matter how 
barren, of that immense region. 

While our forefathers made at least a show of paying the na- 
tives for the land taken from them, there is now not even a pretence 
of such compensation, at least not in the southern Rocky Moun- 
tains. The Indian country is subdivided between the various 
tribes, whose range is limited by more or less defined boundaries. 
As by far the greater number are almost solely hunters, the area 
necessary to their support is out of all proportion to that required 
for the subsistence of an equal number of agriculturists. With 
the influx of a mining population, the Indians, unable to encroach 
upon the territory of neighboring tribes, are gradually driven to 
the most barren parts of the mountains, and with the disappear- 
ance of game are reduced to the verge of starvation. Whether 
they oppose bravely at first the inroads of the whites, or submit 
peacefully to every outrage until forced by famine to seek the 
means of life among the herds of the intruder, the result is the 
same. Sometimes hunted from place to place in open war ; some- 

34 ACB0S8 AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap, m 

times tlieir warriors enticed away under j^eaceful promises by one 
party, while a confederate band descends on the native settle- 
ments, massacring women and children, old and young ; they are 
always fading away before the hand of violence. No treaty or 
flag of truce is too sacred to be disregarded, no weapons too cruel 
or cowardly to be used or recommended by Americans. Read 
the following quotation from a late work : 

" There is only one way to wage war against the Apaches. A 
steady, persistent campaign must be made, following them to 
their haunts — hunting them to the ' fastnesses of the mountains.' 
They must be surrounded, starved into coming in, surprised or 
inveigled — by white flags, or any other method, human or divine 
— and then put to death. If these ideas shock any weak-minded 
philanthropist, I can only say that I pity without respecting his 
mistaken sympathy. A man might as well have sympathy for a 
rattlesnake or a tiger." * 

I have quoted the above passage, because it exj)resses the sen- 
timent of the larger part of those directly interested in the extei-- 
mination of the Indians, who are also exercising a constant pres- 
sure on the Government, and making healthy and just legislation 
in the matter impracticable. 

If it is said that the Indians are treacherous and cruel, scalping 
and torturing their prisoners, it may be answered that there is no 
treachery and no cruelty left unemployed by the whites. Poison- 
ing with strychnine, the wilful dissemination of small-pox, and 
the possession of bridles, braided from the hair of scalped victims 
and dec-orated with teeth knocked from the jaws of living women 
— these are heroic facts among many of our frontiersmen. 

In the territory under the control of the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany—the interests of that organization requiring a proper treat- 
ment of the Indians— very little trouble has ever been experienced 
during a long intercourse with the natives ; and the same may, I 
believe, be.said of the relations between the Mormons and the sur- 
rounding tribes. Throughout Spanish America the Jesuits succeed- 
ed to a high degree in their endeavor to elevate the condition of the 
conquered race, and the limit to their success was always deter- 
mmed by the cupidity of the home government, and of the min- 
ing population. 

* Sylvester Mowry in "Arizona and Sonora." 


Without difficulty these zealous apostles founded missions, and 
traversed parts of the Rocky Mountains which are now accessi- 
ible to only a strong military force. Leaving our own continent, we 
find in Russia, China, and many other lands, a successfully pursued 
policy, resulting in a greater or less elevation of conquered races. 
The nomad Tarter tribes, brought under Russian rule, in Russia 
and Siberia, have been transformed, even where not christianized, 
into a different mode of life, forming a highly respected class, 
following the same occupations equally successfully with the Rus- 
sians, among whom they live. 

I can explain the different condition of our relations with the 
Indians, only by supposing that, in the presence of long-continued 
dishonesty in our Indian agencies, public opinion has shaped itself 
into conformity with the interests of the frontiersman, who is re- 
strained by no higher law than liis own grossly selfish aim. Per- 
haps the question has already passed beyond the control of the 
Government ; certainly, at present, it is being Avorked out under 
more general laws — those which control animal life; it has be- 
come a struggle for existence, a contest in which the nobler moral 
faculties have no part. ' 

There is, perhaps, no doubt that the aboriginal race will soon 
disappear from the United States ; nor can it be denied, if the mere 
contact with us, without the use of violence, causes them to melt 
away, that their disappearance is for the ad^-antage of the world 
at large, since the fact of a natural decrease would prove them to 
be lacking in ability to do their share in the world's work. But 
it is the duty of Government to see that their disappearance shall 
take place through the natural decrease in the number of births. 
This result can be effected only by causing the tribes to remove to 
reservations, where they may be protected by Government in their 
rights, and made to respect the rights of others. The policy at 
present followed toward the hostile tribes is not only unjust, but 
it is an unpardonable waste of men and money. Costly treaties 
are made with difficulty, only to be immediately broken, as well 
by the Indians as by the settlers, and by the very agents appoint- 
ed to execute the obligations of the Government. Indian agents, 
appointed to represent the Government, and distribute presents 
among the Indians, carry on with them a profitable but shameful 
trade, bartering not only arms and spirits, but the very presents 

36 ACBOSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. iir. 

of Government, against horses and mules, which they know well 
the Apache must first steal from Mexicans and Americans. It 
was out of these thefts, made to fulfil the dishonest contracts en- 
tered into with Government ofiicials, that the majority of the 
Indian troubles arose in Arizona. 

If war between the hostile tribes and the whites is unavoidable, 
let its prosecution be transferred from the irresponsible settlers to 
the military, and waged with the definite object of concentrat- 
ing the Indians upon liberal reserves, and there accomplishing all 
that can be efiected toward their elevation by the efforts of Gov- 
ernment, and of the missionary enterprise of any religion. 

When we deposited the movable property of our company at 
Tubac, we did so under the supposition that that village would 
be a point at which a large part of the white and Mexican popu- 
lation would concentrate for mutual defence, until the fresh 
troops, whose coming was rumored, should arrive. As soon as 
the contents of the wagons were stored away, tlie silver assayed, 
and our debts paid, I determined to make a journey for recreation 
into the Papagoria — the land of the friendly Papago tribe. In 
company with Colonel G. D. Poston and Mr. J. Washburn, I 
reached the Cerro Colorado or Heintzelman mine, then being 
worked by the first-named gentleman. Here we took a Mexican 
guide and laid in our provisions, consisting of pinole — powdered 
parched-corn — sugar and coffee. 

Early the next morning we left the mine, and, following the 
Indian ,trail westward for several miles, came onto the great 
Baboquiveri plain. This broad stretch of wild grass-land being 
one of the main thoroughfares of the Apaches, we . were obliged 
to keep a good look-out all day. But notwithstanding the great 
heat, and the danger from Indians, the combined effect of the grand 
scenery and the prospect of reaching a country where comparar 
tive safety would allow a few nights of unguarded sleep, filled 
me with new life, and I gave myself up again to the fascinating 
influence of nature in the Eocky Moimtains. Twenty miles or 
more to the west of us, rose the sharp and lofty peak of the Babo- 
quiveri, its eagle-head outline and every feature sharply defined, 
while the range out of which it towers up stretched ' away in long 


wings of glistening, barren rock, till lost in the northern and 
southern horizons. 

As we entered the valley from our position on its eastern 
border, the broad plain lay before us. Descending in a gentle 
slope to the centre, and thence rising gradually to the same 
height along the base of the opposite mountain range, it was a 
wide expanse of grassy steppe, and forests of mesquit and cacti. 
Detecting us from afar, a drove of wild horses trotted oif over 
the grassy surface, and we watched their graceful course as with 
streaming tails and flowing manes they disappeared in the dis- 

The only other signs of life that break the monotony of these 
journeys, are given by the herds of bounding antelopes, or by 
the red or gray wolf as he trots slowly away from the travellei-, 
stopping dog-like ever and anon to turn and watch the intruder. 
The tracks of the great grizzly bear, the marks of the huge paw 
of the no less ferocious panther, and the sudden and frequent 
sound of the rattlesnake, warn the traveller of other dangers than 
the Apache. 

Taking a diagonal course over the plain, we reached the foot- 
hills of the Baboquiveri range at the approach to Aliza pass. It 
was late at night before we had wound through the rocky defile, 
and by the light of the full moon ascended to the spring near the 
top. After watering the horses from our hats, and drinking a 
supper of pinole in water ourselves, we took turns at watching 
and sleeping. 

Early the next morning we reached the summit of the pass. 
The Baboquiveri range forms the boundary between the Papagoes 
and Apaches, two tribes differing widely in appearance, character, 
and habits, and between whom there has ever been hostility. 

The Papagoes guard carefully the approaches to their country, 
and these passes have been the scenes of many desperate battles. 
But the desei't character of the Papagoria is its best defence, 
since, in view of the great scarcity of water over an immense area, 
it would be almost certain death to a party of Apaches to pene- 
trate far into it. At the summit of the pass stands a large pile 
of stones, literally bristling with arrows, both old and new. 
Whether this was a landmark or battle monument I did not learn. 

A ride of twenty miles over a gravelly plain, which reflected 

38 ACROSS AMERICA' AND ASIA. [chap. iii. 

the intense heat of the sun, brought us to €ahuabi, a Papago 
village on the skirt of the desert. Here two silver mines, the 
Cahuabi and Tajo, had been worked for a short time some years 
before and temporarily abandoned. Both of these veins, one 
containing free gold, as well as silver ore, give good promise;, 
indeed, I consider the Cahuabi district to be one of the richest for 
silver in Ai-izona. The fact that it lies in the desert, with barely 
enough water to cook with, will be a serious hindrance to its 

Most of the Papago villages on the desert are several miles 
from any water, and one of the chief occupations of the women 
is the obtaining of this necessary of life, and bringing it home. 
I say obtaining, for getting water is there often a labor of pa- 
tience, skill, and danger. In many places it is to be had only by 
digging. A spot is chosen where the rock dips under a deposit 
of sand, and an opening like a quarry is sunk in the latter, expos- 
ing the rocky surface. The little water that trickles slowly, drop 
by drop, along the plane of contact between sand and stone, is 
collected with the greatest care and patience, till the labor, some- 
times of hours, is rewarded by one or two gallons of water in the 
earthen vessel, which the woman then bears on her heady perhaps 
six or nine miles, to her home. In very dry seasons, w^ater can 
be had only by extensive digging of this kind. A friend once 
reached one of these wells at a time when, after a succession of 
dry seasons, the Indians were dying from thirst. He found a 
large number of natives digging recklessly, far below the sur- 
face, and following down ithe line of contact between sand and 
rock, in the vain hope of finding a few drops of water. In their 
despair, they undermined the high face of the sand, and it fell, 
burying for ev;er a number of the unfortunate creatures. 

From Cahuabi we made an excursion into the desert to visit a 
mine being opened by some Mexicans. At the outset, our way 
lay over a gravelly plain covered with small scrubby acacias, 
and the green, leafless palo-verde, over which towered countless 
columns of the saguarra ( Cereusgiganteus). This giant cactus 
one of the wonders of the vegetable world, impresses a peculiar 
character on the scenery in which it occurs. Often a simple shaft, 
nearly as large at the top as at the base, it rises thirty and even 
sixty feet above the ground. Its green surface is fluted like a 

^^i^^^^^^fO'^L^L I'^'s -j-'i-- --' ^^?Si 



Grecian column, and armed from base to summit witli small clusters 
of long thorns, while a coronet of beautiful, highly-colored flowers 
encircles the base of the hemispherical top. In the season, these 
flowers are replaced by a sweetish fruit, as large as a hen's egg, 
which forms an important source of food among the Papagoes. 
.This fruit is made into an agreeable syrup, which seems to be as 
much prized among these Indians as the sugar and syrup of the 
maple are among the northeastern tribes. 

Beneath the soft-green exterior, the body of the shaft is a skele- 
ton of poles, finger-thick, as long as the plant, and irregularly 
connected together into the form of fasces. These poles, taken 
from dead trunks, furnish, with the exception of the bow and 
arrow, the only means of reaching the fruit. 

So strongly do these cacti resemble Grecian columns, that one 
is almost tempted to look for fallen Corinthian capitals and 
ruined temples. It is a curious coincidence, that the natural ob- 
ject which is best suited to furnish the prototypes of the fluted 
Grecian column and the Roman fasces, should belong to an order 
of plants not represented on the eastern continent, and to a species 
restricted to a small area on the immense deserts of the New 

Reaching the new mine, we found the Mexicans at work in an 
irregular opening, from which about a wagon-load of good-look- 
ing argentiferous copper ore had been taken. This they would 
have to transport nearly one hundred miles before they could 
smelt it. In Mexico, where all the men are more or less miners, 
it is common, especially since the decline of the great mining in- 
dustiy, for a number to club together for the purpose of working 
some old or new mine on shares. The present laxity in the en- 
forcement of the mining laws, the general absence of security to 
property, and an inherent love of gambling, are all favorable to 
such enterprises. While many new discoveries of value are made 
in this manner, the fact that they are not recorded, and the ruin- 
ous system followed by these people in robbing the pillars of old 
mines, render the operations of the gambucinos a serious evil to 
the country. 

Returning to Cahuabi we began our homeward journey, intend- 
ing to reach Arivacca by a trail crossing the mountains south of 
the Baboquiveri peak. We encamped for the night near the 


■western foot-hills of the range, and from our elevated position the 
vast plains, sti-etching away toward the Pacific, were spread out 
before us. To this grand landscape the brilliant light of the full 
nioon lent its enchanting power, rendering more weird the unfa- 
miliar plant forms, silvering the distant ridges of barren granite 
and the surface of the boundless desert. Not a sound, nor even 
a breath of air, broke the silence of the night ; and as I yielded 
to the influence of the scene, I seemed to be a wanderer in dream- 

Soon there came the doleful bark of the red wolf, growing 
louder and nearer as these animals approached and hovered about 
the camp. 

In the morning I found that the rawhide thongs had been 
gnawed off from my saddle, although it had served me for a pil- 
low all night. 

Before night we reached Fresnal, a Papago village. Near this 
we encamped by a spring of good water, surrounded by fine ash and 
mesquit trees, and lying in a ravine descending from the Babo- 
quiveri peak. Our intention was to leave Fresnal on the follow- 
ing afternoon, but while preparing to break camp an accident 
occurred by which all our plans were changed. While we were 
eating our pinole, a sand-storm was seen whirling rapidly toward 
us from the desert, and we all hastened to wrap our fire-arms in 
the blankets, to protect them from the penetrating dust. In doing 
this Mr. Washburn let his revolver fall. It instantly went ofi", and 
discharged a ball into the irmer side of his right thigh. An ex- 
amination showed that the ball had not come out, and it seemed 
almost certain that it had entered the abdomen, and that death 
must soon follow. A hasty consultation resulted in sending a 
Papago on Mr. Washburn's horse to Tucson, about 80 miles dis- 
tant, for a doctor, while Colonel Poston, with the guide, started 
for Arivacca, about 40 miles off, by the trail over the mountain, to 
bring an ambulance, and I remained to nurse our wounded com- 
panion. During the afternoon we found that the ball had glanced 
around the outside of the pelvis, and following the spine had 
lodged itself between the muscle and bone, near the shoulder 
blades. Being entirely ignorant of everything relating to sur- 
gery, I did not venture to cut it out, but decided to wait for the 
doctor's arrival,'keeping the wound constantly washed in the 


meantime. After an absence of less than two days and a half, 
the Papago returned, having nearly killed the fine horse he rode, 
and bringing a letter, in which the doctor regretted the impossi- 
bility of undertaking a journey in the existing condition of the 

Five days passed without bringing any news from Colonel 
Poston, and concluding that another friend had swelled the long 
list of victims to the Apaches, I made preparations to await the 
time when I should either help my companion into his saddle or 
dig his grave. Recovery seemed almost impossible, with the 
thermometer ranging from 116 to 126 degrees in the shade, and 
when night brought only a parching desert-wind. 

Day after day passed by without bringing any change in our 
prospects, or in the condition of the wounded man. The Papagoes 
of the neighboring village, from whom I bought milk and boiled 
wheat, were at first friendly : their frequent visits to our camp 
relieved the tedious monotony of the long days, and I occupied 
my time in learning their language. But gradually these visits 
became rarer, and finally ceased altogether. The old chief raised 
the price of milk from one string of beads per quart, to two 
strings, and the smallness of my supply of this currency render- 
ing it necessary to raise their value in the same proportion, our 
relations became daily less and less friendly. Our isolated posi- 
tion thus grew every day more unpleasant, surrounded as we 
were by Indians who were nominally friendly, but who had mur- 
dered more than one helpless traveller. 

Nearly two weeks had passed since the accident, when a Mexi- 
can arrived from Colonel Poston bringing provisions, and a letter, 
from which we learned that after leaving us they had lost iheir 
way at night on the Baboquiveri plain, and after wandering 
about for three days without food or water, the guide became in- 
sane and strayed away toward the south. Poston, finding water 
the next day, had regained sufficient strength to retrace his steps 
toward the Baboquiveri peak, till coming into the trail he reached 
Arivacca, delirious and half dead, on the fifth day. "When his 
reason returned he learned that the ApacheS had made a descent 
on the place a few days before, killing several men and driv- 
ing off all the animals. He advised us to hire a party of Papagoes 
to bring Washburn in on a litter, I immediately made the pro- 


position to the chief, beginning by offering a horse, and ending with 
the offer of horses and arms by the dozen. It was useless. The 
old man was temj^ted ; but most of the warriors being away for 
the summer, he would not venture to expose the village to a 
raid from the Apaches by sending the young men with us. 

The Mexican left the welcome provisions and returned to Ari- 
vacca, and again the same tedious routine of watching and 
waiting was resumed. Nearly all my time during the day, and 
much of the night, was occupied in keeping water on Washburn's 
wound. By this means, together with the dryness of the climate, 
it was kept free from gangrene, and the condition of my patient 
was apparently improving. 

One day the unexpected but welcome sound of a creaking 
wheel was followed by the appearance of a wagon drawn by 
oxen, and escorted by eleven Mexicans. It was a party who had 
gone from Sonora, over the desert, to open a mine, and were now 
returning with a load of ore. The scarcity of water on the desert 
had caused them to take the route along the foot of the moun- 
tains, and, fortunately for us, the first wagon that had ever 
passed this way came in time to give us relief. A bargain Avas 
immediately made — the Mexicans, who were on foot, agreeing to 
take Washburn to Sarie, in Sonora, for five dollars. Making as 
comfortable a bed for the wounded man as was possible, over 
the rough load of ore, we began this new stage of our journey. 

The oxen made slow progress, rarely over ten or twelve miles 
a day, and now and then losing a day altogether ; still it was a 
great relief to be again on horseback. At Poso- Verde we reached 
the border of the Papagoria. Here the Indians had taken advan- 
tage of the existence of a spring, and abundant grass, and we 
found a well-stocked ranch of horses and cattle. The spring was 
a small pool, in which stood, during the heat of the day, all the 
cattle that could find room, and in it the Indians bathed every 
morning. Already from a distance Ave smelt the water, and 
Avhen Ave reached it, it seemed more like a barn-yard pool than 
a reservoir of drinkable Avater. Still Ave Avere forced to use it 
there, and to lay in a supply. 

Leaving Poso-Verde we turned from the mountains unto a 
broad plain, bearing scarcely any other vegetation than scattered 
tufts of grass. As we Avere now exposed to the Apaches, we 


were obliged to keep a constant look-out. The Mexicans had no 
amunition, and ours was useless to them. In two or three days 
it was suddenly discovered that we were out of provisions and 
tobacco. A Mexican was instantly sent ahead on our extra horse 
to get supplies at the nearest village in Sonora, and it was hoped 
he might meet us on the second or third day, at least in time to 
prevent any deaths from starvation. 

But when the thii-d day passed without his return, it was 
evident that hunger was telling fearfully on us. The Mexi- 
cans became, all of them, more or less deranged, as much from 
waqt of tobacco as from hunger ; we could make but little pro- 
gress, as our companions wandered away from our course, and 
my time was divided between guiding the oxen and keeping 
the men near the wagon. I was entirely ignorant of the route, 
and, not being able to rely on the random talk of the crazy guides, 
could only keep a southerly course, and trust to accident for find- 
ing water. 

The Mexicans tore open my saddle-bags in search of tobacco, 
an action I had neither the strength nor the heart to resist. I 
began to feel that my own reason was leaving me, and that only 
a speedy relief could save us from death. 

Fortunately, before night overtook us, we reached a low range 
of hills, and my heart beat fast as I saw a number of petalhya 
cacti growing from the rocks. It was the season for their fruit, 
and enough of this was found to supply a scanty meal all around. 

The next day, fearing to go on, we remained quiet, and I stood 
guard with drawn pistol, till the following morning, to prevent 
the starving men from killing one of the oxen, knowing well that 
it must inevitably cause the death of Washburn. Toward noon 
of the fifth day a horseman was seen coming from the north, who 
proved to be our Mexican bringing provisions. He had passed 
us in the night, and had gone a long day's journey beyond us, 
before cutting our trail. Our deliverer was torn from his horse by 
the men, in their impatience to get at the supplies, but, before 
taking a mouthful of food, we all quickly rolled cigarettes, and 
each inhaled one long draught of delicious smoke, and then fell 
to eating. Fortunately, the man had been wise enough to hide 
most of his load, to prevent the eifects of over-eating in our con- 
dition. By the next morning we were nearly recovered from 



the effects of starvation, as was shown by the returned sanity 
and straightened forms of all of us. Thus ended one of the most 
awful episodes of my journey. 

Two or three days more brought us to Saric, where the sym- 
pathies of the entire female population were immediately enlisted 
in behalf of Mr. Washburn, and we were soon furnished with as 
comfortable quarters as the poor frontier village could supj)ly. 
This was not much, however, consisting of a room, in Avhich we 
spread our blankets on some fresh cornstalks. 

The Apaches had made a raid on the place that day, and the 
village was in a state of excitement. An old Spaniard was found 
whom we both knew, and who, having some knowledge of sur- 
gery, proceeded to cut out the ball. 

This was done successfully, the lead coming out in two pieces. 
By careful treatment, and constant nursing on the part of the 
kind-hearted Mexican women, Washburn in less than two weeks 
was on the road to certain recovery, and I prepared to leave him, 
to return to Arizona. When on the point of starting I was seized 
with chills and fever, and for a week was the patient, in turn, of 
every lady in the village. But kind nursing, aided by emetics 
and warm water by the pailful, restored me, and, leaving a 
country where the men are mostly cut-throats, and the women 
angels, I rode toward Arizona. 



At Arivacca I found Colonel Poston impatiently awaiting the 
arrival of the agent of Colonel Colt, to "whom he had transferred 
the lease of the Heintzelman mine. Being both of us anxious to 
leave the country, we determined on a journey together through 
the principal mining districts, to the city of Mexico, and thence 
to Acapulco, or Vera Cruz. Before beginning this we visited 
Tubac, where we found the population considerably increased 
by Americans, who had been driven in by the Apaches, from the 
ranches of the Santa Cruz valley. 

In three days we were ready to return to the Heintzelman 
mine, and the morning of the fourth day was fixed foi our final 
departure from Tubac. But a circumstance occurred in the even- 
ing which interfered with our plans. Just before dark a Mexi- 
can herdsman galloped into the plaza, and soon threw the whole 
community into a state of intense excitement. He had gone 
that morning with William Rhodes, an American ranchero, to 
Rhodes's fai-ra, to bring in some horses which had been left on 
the abandoned place. The farm lay about eighteen miles from 
Tubac, on the road to Tucson, and to reach it they passed first 
through the Reventon, a fortified ranch ten miles distant, and 
then through the Canoa, a stockade inn, fourteen miles from 
Tubac. At the inn they found the two Americans who had 
charge of the place, cooking dinner ; and telling them they would 
return in an hour to dine, they rode on. Having found the 
horses, they returned, and, before riding up to the house, secured 
the loose animals in the corral, and then turned toward the inn. 
Their attention was immediately drawn to a shirt, drenched in 
blood, hanging on the gate, and, approaching this, a scene of 
destruction confronted them. The Apaches had evidently been 
at work during the short hour that had passed. Just as they 
were on the point of dismounting, they discovered a large party 


of Indians, lying low on their horses, among the bushes a feAv 
hundred yards off the road. At the same instant that they put 
spurs to their horses, to escape toward the Reventon, the Apaches 
broke cover, and reached the road about one hundred yards be- 
hind the fugitives. 

There were not less than a hundred mounted warriors, and a 
large number on foot. About a mile from the inn, Rhodes's horse 
seemed to be giving out, and he struck off from the road toward 
the mountains, followed by all the mounted Indians. The Mexi- 
can had escaped to the Reventon, and thence to Tubac, but he 
said that Rhodes must have been killed soon after they parted 

It being too late to accomplish anything by going out that 
night, we determined to look up the bodies and bury them the 
following day. Early the next morning I rode out with Colonel 
Poston and three others, to visit the Canoa. To our great sur- 
prise the first man we met, as we rode into the Reventon, was 
Rhodes, with his arm in a sling. He corroborated the story of 
the Mexican, and told us the history of his own remarkable 
escape. Finding his horse failing, and having an arrow through 
his left arm, he left the road, hoping to reach a thicket he remem- 
bered having seen. He had about two hundred yards advantage 
over the nearest pursuers, and as he passed the thicket he threw 
himself fi'om the horse, which ran on while he entered the bush. 
The thicket was very dense, with a narrow entrance leading to a 
small charco or dry mud-hole in the centre. Lying down in this 
he spread his revolver cartridges and caps before him, broke off 
and drew out the arrow, and feeling the loss of blood buried his 
wounded elbow in the earth. All this was the work of a minute, 
and before he had finished it the Indians had formed a cordon 
around his hiding-place and found the entrance. The steady aim 
of the old frontiersman brought from his horse the first Apache 
who charged into the opening. Each succeeding brave met the 
same fate as he tried the entrance, till six shots had been fired 
from Rhodes's revolver, and then the Indians, believing the weapon 
empty, charged bodily with a loud yell. But the cool ranger had 
loaded after each shot, and a seventh ball brought down the 
foremost of the attacking party, and the eighth the one behind 
him. During all this time the Indians fired volley after volley 


of balls and. arrows into the thicket, ia the hope of killing their 
hiclden opponent. After the twelfth shot there came another 
whoop, anotlier charge, and one more Avarrior fell. Then the In- 
dians, who knew him well by name, and from many former fights, 
called out : " Don Guiglelmo ! Don Guiglelmo I — Come and join 
us; you're a brave man, and we'll make you a chief." " Oh, you 
devils, you ! I know what you'll do with me if you get me," he 
answered. After this Rhodes heard a loud shout : " Sopori ! 
Sopori ! " — the name of the ranch of a neighboring mine — and 
the whole attacking party galloped away. 

After a few minutes, finding the Indians all gone, Rhodes left 
the thicket and found his way to the Reventon. Thus happened 
one of the most remarkable defences and escapes, and one that 
could have been carried out only by a cool courage, such as few 
men even with a long frontier experience can command. 

Leaving the Reventon we rode toward the Canoa. As we ap- 
proached it the tracks of a large drove of horses and cattle and 
of many Indians filled the road. Soon we came in sight of the 
inn, and two dogs came running from it toward us. With low, 
incessant whining they repeatedly came up to us, and theu turned 
toward the inn, as if beseeching our attention to something there. 
Wlien we entered the gate a scene of destruction indeed met us. 
The sides of the house were broken in and the court was filled 
with broken tables and doors, while fragments of crockery and 
iron-ware lay mixed in heaps with grain and the contents of mat- 
trasses. Through the open door of a small house, on one side of 
the court, we saw a body, which proved to be the remains of 
young Tarbox, who coming from Maine a short time before had 
been put in charge of tlie inn. Like many of the settlers, the 
first Apaches he had seen were his murderers. Under a tree, 
beyond a fence that divided the court, we found the bodies of 
the other American and a Papago Indian, who, probably driven 
in by the Apaches, had joined in the desperate struggle that had 
evidently taken place. These bodies were pierced by hundreds 
of lance wounds, and were already in a terrible condition. 

Ou^' small party of five took turns in keeping watch and dig- 
o-in"' the graves. Burying the Papago in one grave, and the two 
Americans in the other, we wrote on a board — " Tarbox ; " and 
vmder, this : " White man, unknown, killed by Apaches." How 

48 ACnOSS AMMBICA AND ASIA. [chap. iv. 

often does that word " unknown" mask the history of some long- 
mourned wanderer from the circle at home. 

We had just finished the burial, when a party of Americans, 
escorting two wagons, rode in sight. They were on their way to 
Fort Buchanan, where they hoped to discover the caches in which 
commissary stores had been hidden on the . abandonment of the 
country. Happening to ask them whether Mr. Richmond Jones, 
superintendent of the Sopori Company's property, was still in Tuc- 
son, I was told that he had left that town for the Sopori early on 
the previous day. 

Knowing that he had not yet reached home, we instantly sus- 
pected that he was killed. As the party had met with no signs 
of Indians till near the Canoa, we began a search for his body in 
the neighborhood, and before long a call from one of our num- 
ber brought us to the spot where it lay. A bullet entering the 
breast, two large lances piercing the body from side to side, 
and a pitchfork driven as far as the very forking of the prongs 
into the back, told the manner of his death. Wrapping the 
body in a blanket, we laid it in one of the wagons and turned 
toward Tubac. Finding the spot where Rhodes had left the road 
in his flight from the Indians, Poston and myself followed the 
tracks till we reached the scene of his desperate fight. The place 
was exactly as Rhodes had described it, and the charco was cov- 
ered with the branches cut loose by the Apache bullets, while the 
ground at the entrance was still soaked with blood. 

At Tubac a grave was dug, and in it we buried Richmond 
.Tones, of Providence, R. I. Like Grosvenor, a true friend of the 
Indians, he fell by them a victim to vengeance, for the treachery 
of the white man. The cry of Sopori, raised by the Indians when 
they left Rhodes, was now explained ; they knew that in Jones 
they had killed the superintendent of that ranch, and they were 
impatient to reach the place and drive ofi" its large drove of 
horses and cattle before the arrival of any force large enough to 
resist them. This they efiected by killing the herdsmen. 

The next morning, bidding good-bye to Tubac, Poston and my- 
self returned to the Heintzelman mine. I was to pass a week 
here, for the purpose of examining and reporting on the property ; 
but hearing that a wagon-load of watermelons had arrived at Ari- 
vacca, and having lived on only jerked beef and beans for nearly 


a year, I determined to go on witt Poston. and pass a day at the 
reduction works. It was arranged that two of the Americans 
should come to Arlvacca the next day, to carry the mail through 
to Tucson. They came ; but, the letters not being ready, their de- 
parture was postponed till the following morning. 

About an hour and a half after these two men had left Arivacca, 
they galloped back, showing in their faces that something awful 
had happened. 

" What is the matter ? " asked Postoa- 

•' There has been an accident at the mine, sir." 

" Nothing serious, I hope ? " 

" Well ! yes, sir ; it's very serious." 

" Is any one injured — is my brother hurt ? " 

" Yes, sir, they're all hurt ; and I am afraid your brother wont 

My friend dared to put no more questions ; the men told me 
the whole story in two words — " all murdered." 

Mounting my horse, which had already been saddled to carry 
me to the mme, I returned quickly with the two men. We found 
the bodies of Mr. John Poston and the two German employes, 
while the absence of the Mexicans showed plainly who were the 
murderers. I heard the history of the affair afterward in Sonora. 
A party of seven Mexicans had come from Sonora for the pur- 
pose of inciting the peons, at Arivacca and the mine, to kill the 
Americans and rob the two places. They reached Arivacca the 
same day that Poston and myself arrived, and finding the white 
force there too strong, had gone on to the mine. Here they found 
no difficulty in gaining over the entire Mexican force, including a 
favorite servant of Mr. Poston. This boy, acting as a spy, gave 
notice to the Mexicans when the white men were taking their 
siesta. Without giving their victims a chance to resist, they mur- 
dered them in cold blood, robbed the place, and left for Sonora. 
Laying the bodies in a wagon just arrived from Arivacca, we 
returned to that place. I found that during my absence the peons 
had attempted the same thing at the reduction works, but being 
detected in time by the negro cook, they were put down. That 
evemncf we had another burial, the saddest of all, for we commit- 
ted to the earth of that accursed country the remains not only 
of a friend, but of the brother of one of our party. 


- I will add here that the accident which so nearly proved- fatal 
to Washburn on the desert, in all probability saved his life, since 
by delaying his return to the Heintzelman mine, where he made 
his home, it saved him from the general assassination. 

After this occurrence we both abandoned our proposed jour- 
ney,- and determined to leave the country by the nearest open 
route. The events of the past week, added to all that had gone 
before, began to tell on my nerves, and I felt unequal to the task 
of making a dangerous summer journey of over one thousand 
miles through Mexico. 

The arrival of a Spaniard whom we knew well, decided our 
route. lie brought the news that a vessel' was to arrive at Lo- 
bos Bay, on the Gulf of California, to take in a cargo of copper 
ore. So we determined to leave with him for Caborca, on our 
way to Lobos Bay. Indeed, the only route open to us lay 
through Sonora, as it was out of the question for two men to 
think of taking the ordinary routes through Arizona. 

The day after the funeral we put our baggage into the return- 
ing wagons, and following these, on horseback, left Arivacca. 
Our own party consisted of Poston, myself, and the colored cook. 
Crossing the Baboquiveri plain we passed around the southern 
end of the Baboquiveri range. Here I entered agaiu upon the 
great steppe, which, stretching northward through the Papagoria, 
and southwestward to the Altar i-iver, had so lately been the 
scene of our eventful journey. On the skirt of this plain we en- 
camped for the night. 

Tlie "effect of the grand scenery and wonderfully clear atmos- 
phere of this strange land, is to intensify the feelings of pain or 
pleasure which at the time sway the traveller's mind. Thus; 
while under ordinary circumstances, the surroundings of this our 
first encampment would have been engraved on the memory with 
all the shading and coloring of a sublime and beautiful night- 
scene, the events of the past week formed a background on which 
the picture of that night remains impressed with all the weii'd 
gloom of the darkest conceptions of Breughel or I^ore. The 
bright moon-lighted heavens were suddenly overcast, in the north- 
east, by the first thunder-cloiid I hai seen in the territory.' Above 
us the sky wais clear,' but over ihe mouhtaink we had' left" all! was 
dark and gloomy. As the thundei* rolled in peal after peal, and 


lightning broke in great columns, its sudden light impressing on 
the eye the weird rock-forms and frowning cliffs of the Arizona 
mountains, it seemed a fitting end to the scenes we had left be- 
hind, and as though that region were realizing its name, and were 
m reality the " Gate of Hell." 

Our route lay for two or three days, as far as the Altar river, 
over hard, gravelly plains, generally bearing grass and scattered 
mesquit trees and cacti. The Altar river is a mere rivulet at 
nearly all seasons, but along its course are many places which 
might become flourishing ranches, were not all attempts at indus- 
try rendered hopeless by the raids of the Apache. Following 
the river we reached Altar, a village built of adobes, and contain- 
ing a population of about 1,900 souls, including the ranches of the 
inmediate neighborhood. 

The productions of this part of Sonora are chiefly maize, wheat, 
barley, beans, and some sugar and tobacco.* Watermelons 
are raised in large numbers. A solitary date-palm, standing 
near Altar, is evidence of the attempts of the early missionaries 
to introduce fruits which seemed suited to the climate. 

On the fourth day of our journey we reached Caborca, a village 
containing about 800 inhabitants, chiefly agriculturists and miners. 
It was in the fine old mission-church at this place that the filibus- 
tering party under Crabbe met their fate. 

Here we were welcomed by an acquaintance, Don Marino Mo- 
lino, who ofiered us the hospitality of his liouse. Much to our 
disappointment, we learned that the coming of the expected vessel 
to Lobos Bay had been postponed for several months, and it 
became necessary to choose another way out of the country. Our 
choice of routes was limited to two : the one leading to Guaymas, 
about 200 miles distant, and the other to Fort Yuma, nearly as 
far to the northwest, on the Colorado river. 

While we were in Caborca, some of the former peons of the 

* " The prices of wheat and barley are ahont the same at all the pubhlos, viz, wheat at 
harvest time $1,50 per fanega, (150 lbs.); wheat at Beeri time 13,00 per iane^a. (15011)9 ); barley 
at harvest time $1,00 (120 lbs.) : at seed time $2,50-$3,00 ; beans cost from *.3.0O to $8,0!) (aver- 
age $5,00) per fanega ; com the same as wheat, but the fanega weight 200 lbs. Beef cattle , 
and all 'kinds of stock are scarce. I estimate that about 4.000 head of cattle belong to Cabor- 
o, and perhaps 5,000 to 6,r00 are on the Galera rancho ; *eix miles from there they sell steers 
for $5,00 to 12,00. Animals are generally fattened for slaughter in the towns, where they 
sell for about $20,00 ; heavy fat oxen fi-om $40,00. to 60,00 : tallow brings a high price. 

"At Pitiqnito, about six and one-half miles from Caborca, there is raised annually : of wheat 
abont8,000 fanegas ; of corn say 2.000 iinegas. Cotton thrives well."— ifepori of Major D. 
Fergumm, to tfie Secretartj of War. 


Heintzelraan mine, who had been of the assassinating party, were 
seen walking in conscious security through the streets. We 
heard that they not only boasted openly of their part in the mur- 
der, but that they had formed a party of twelve desperadoes to 
follow and waylay Poston and myself, for the sake of the large 
quantity of silver we were supposed to have in our baggage. 
Our friends warned us of the danger, and advised us to increase 
our force before continuing the journey. At the same time a 
report was brought in by a Mexican coming from California, 
that Fort Yuma was to have been already abandoned, and that 
owing to two successive rainless seasons, many of the usual 
watering-places on the desert route to the Colorado were dry. 
There was one distance, he said, of one hundred and twenty 
miles, without water, and on this some of the party to which he 
belonged had died from thirst. 

We decided, however, on this route, as, besides leading directly 
to California, it exposed us mainly to the dangers of the desert. 
One thing caused us much uneasiness : this was the question as 
to how we should cross the Colorado river, supposing the Fort 
were really abandoned. That river is deep, and broad, and the 
current rapid ; and the abandonment of the fort would, consider- 
ing the hostile character of the Yuma Indians, necessarily cause 
the abandonment of the ferry also. 

There was in Caborca an American, named William s, who had 
been found some weeks before dying from hunger and thirst, 
on the shore at Lobos Bay. Brought into Caborca, and kindly 
treated _by an old lady of that plac e, he had already recovered, 
and was seeking an opportunity to leave the country. According 
to Williams's story, he had formed one of a party of three who 
had built a boat on the Colorado river, intending to coast along 
the Gulf of California to Cedros island, on a- "prospecting" expe- 
dition. Arriving at Lobos Bay, he said, they had been wrecked, 
but he was unable to account for the subsequent movements of 
his companions. We believed his story, and liking the ajjpearance 
of the man, engaged him to go with us to California, giving him 
as compensation an outfit consisting of a horse, saddle, rifle, and 
revolver. As soon as we had engaged a Mexican, with several 
pack-mules, we were ready for our journey. Our party now con- 
sisted of four well-armed men, not counting the Mexican muleteer. 


Several friends escortocl us as far as our first encampment, which 
we reached in the night, and left us the following' morning, but 
Tot without repeatedly warning us to keep an unceasing watcl 
for the party that was sure to follow us. 

The first inhabited place we passed was the Coj'^ote gold-placer, 
near which are the ancient Sales and Tajitos gold and silver mines, 
and, in the neighboring Yazura mountains, the Coyote copper 
mine. The ore of the latter is a rich, brilliant black sulphuret. The 
Sales and Tajitos were worked with profit till the insurrection of 
the Indians. 

The next settlement in which we encamped was Quitovac, a 
place which had some celebrity for its gold placers before the dis- 
covery of that metal in California. It had been our intention to 
take the route to the Colorado river, leading through the Sonoita 
gold district, in preference to that passing through San Domingo. 
These routes, diverging at a point a few miles beyond Quitovac, con- 
tinue parallel to each other, but separated by mountains, till their 
reunion on the Gila river. When asked at Quitovac which route 
we proposed taking, we liad given that by Sonoita as our choice. 
But as soon as we took the road in the morning it became evident 
that a party of horsemen had passed through Quitovac during 
the night, stopping for only a short time. The tracks sliowed 
them to be t welve in number, and when on reaching the fork of 
the trails we found that, after evident hesitation, they had taken 
the SoTioita route, we changed our plan and turned into that lead- 
jng to San Domingo, which place Ave reached in a few hours. In 
this sfttleiiieiM, containing two or three houses, the last habitations 
before reaching the Gila river, we found Don Reraigo Rivera, a 
revolutionary Sonoranian general. Don Remigo had withdrawn 
with his small force to the United States boundary, where he 
was awaiting a favorable opportunity for action. Leaving his 
men at Sonoita, he had come to pass a few days at San Domingo. 
As this gentleman had frequently been a guest at the Santa Rita, 
and at Colonel Poston's house, we received from him a cordial recep- 
tion, and dismounted to breakfast on pinole and watermelons. 
While thus engaged, a courier rode up at full speed, and Avas 
closeted for a few minutes with our host. This man, Don 
Remio-o informed lis, brought news of the arrival, in the neigh- 
borhood of Sonoita, of twelve men, whose names he gave. It 


was supposed by his friends that they had come to assassi 
the general. 

" That is not likely to be their object," said Don Renrigo, " £ 
though they are cut-throats, they belong to my party, and 
served under me. It is more probable," he continued, ' 
they are following you, as I have heard of a plot to waylay y 

Our suspicions of the morning were thus confirmed,, and th 
cessity of being prepared for an attack became more.appare 

San Domingo lies on the boundary, and the trail leaving 
ranch keeps for a few miles south of the line, and then enter 
United States territory. To this point Don Remigo accon 
ied us, to show us the last watering-place before entering upoi 
desert. As we returned from this spring to the road, two 
were seen, who, having passed us unnoticed, were trave 
north. They proved to be two Americans, on their wa 
Fort Yuma, and they readily joined us. Our party now numl 
six well-armed men, and we felt otirselves able to cope with 
Mexicans. The size of our force now rendered it possible to 
a watch without much fatigue to any member of the party ; 
our greatest danger lay in the exposure of our animals, and c 
quently of ourselves, to death from thirst. Soon we would ha 
enter upon the broad waterless region, and the bones of anims 
ready bordering our trail warned us of the sufferings of past j 

One night, as we wei-e skirting the desert along the base 
barren sierra, "Williams and myself had fallen behind the car: 
when my companion, from over-use of our Spanish bi'andy, b 
to talk freely to himself. We were just approaching a bold, 
spur of the sierra, while immediately before us the trail w 
between immense fragments of rock fallen from the moun 
above. Williams stopped his horse, and looking at the r 
said, half aloud : 

" Here's where the d — d greasers * oveitook us, and we whi 

As the man had said that he had never been over the roai 
fore, I thought it at first only the talk of a drunken man. 

" I thought you had never been this way before, Wjllian 
said to him. 

" Maybe I haven't ; maybe I dreamt it ; but when you g< 

* A name applied to Mexicans by frontiersmen. 

CHAP. IT.] CLosim scEjtrm and escape. 55 

that spur you'll see two tall rocks, like columns, on the top of the 
sierra ; them's the ' two sisters.' " 

"We soon passed the point of the spur, when, looking toward 
the top of the mountain, I saw two tall rocks, like columns, rising 
from the crest. My interest in this man was now excited, indeed 
I had already had a suspicion that he was not what we had taken 
him to he. Determined to learn more, I passed him my flask ; 
we rode, on together, talking ahout Sonora, though not very co- 
herently on Williams!s part. After riding a few miles we entered 
a scanty forest of mesquit and palo-verde trees, and I ohserved 
that my companion had become attentive to the surroundings. In 
answer to my questions he replied : 

" I am looking for an opening on the left side of the trail. 
There's a square opening with a large mesquit at each corner, 
and a long branch goes from one corner across to the other ; un- 
der the branch there's a mound, I guess." 

He rode ahead, and soon turned out of the trail. 

Following him, I entered by a narrow path and found myself 
with him in a square opening ; there, indeed, was a mesquit at 
each corner, a long branch crossing the space diagonally, and 
under the branch a mound. The clear moon-light shone into the 
spot and cast our shadows over the mound, as if to hide a mystery. 

"He's rotten now, I reckon;" my companion muttered. "I 
told him I'd spit more than once on his grave, and by G — d I've 
done it." 

" What was his name, Williams ? " I asked, passing the flask 

" Charley Johnson." 

" What did you kill the poor devil for, in this out-of-the-way 
place ? " 

" An old grudge, about a Mexican woman, when we were with 
Fremont. I told him I'd spit on his grave, and I've done it ; ha ! 
ha ! ha ! I've done it. We had a split here about a scarf— and I 
got the scarf, that's all." 

" Who kept the priest's robes ? " I asked, looking him full in 
the face. 

At these words, Williams started and made a motion toward 
his pistol ; but seeing that I had the advantage, inasmuch as my 
hand rested on my revolver, he simply exclaimed : 


" What the devil do you know about the priest's robes ? " 
" Only that you -were one of Bell's band," I answered, quietly. 
The suspicions I had formed as soon as Williams had betrayed 
a knowledge of the route, were fully confirmed ; our quiet-look- 
'ng companion had been one of the band of cut-throats which , 
ander the notorious Bell, had been the terror of California, soo n 
afte r the discovery of gold. This party had gone to 8onora. 
about eight years be fore the time of our journey, under the pre - 
text of wishing to buy horses. Stopping at a celebrated gold 
placer near Caborca, they were" hospitably entertained at the 
neighboring mission by the old priest and hi s sister, who were 
living alone. In return for this kind receptio n they had h ung the 
priest, outraged t he lady, and r obbed t he rich church of several 
thousand dollar s in gold. The inh abitgjits^of^ajgoi-ca h ad told 
me of this occurrence, still fresh in their minds, and of the bra- 
vado of the party in riding through Caborca, using^ the priestly^ 
robes as saddle blankets. Before a sufficiently strong party 
could be raised to follow them, they had escaped to the desert, 
and when finally overtaken, were found too strong for their pur- 
suers, who were driven back. 

My experience on the border with men of the class to which 
Williams belonged, had shown me that to manage them, or, when 
it becomes necessary, to associate with them, one must assume, to 
a certain extent, their tone ; this I had done with my compan- 
ion, and by this means and the aid of the brandy-flask I obtained 
his confidence. He acknowledged that he had been one of Bell's 
men, and had been on the expedition into Sonora. When he was 
recently brouglit into Caborca nearly dead, he was taken c irfe~o! 
by the sister of the priest whom they had hung, and Williams 
lived in c onstant fear thart; the lady would recognize h im. Not 
only had he escaped recognition, but he told me, as an excellent 
joke, that the Senora had given him a letter to her two daughters, 
who were living in California. 

He was, at the time of our journey, a refugee from California, 
having murdered a man in San Francisco. The history he gave 
me of his life, while with Bell's band, was a combination of aw- 
ful crimes and ludicrous incidents, that would swell a volume. I 
never knew but one rufiian Avho more surely deserved hanging 
than this companion, whom we had taken with us to increase our 


safety. That other man ^vas one who had been a blacksmith at 
the Santa Rita mine, and had been discharged for trying to stab 
Mr. Grosvenor. Soon after this he killed a man at Tubac, and, 
as the sympathies of the inhabitants were with the victim, Rodg- 
ers found it necessary to leave the country to avoid Ij'nch law. 
Before going, he took one of the employes of the Santa Rita to 
his trunk, and showing him a string of eighteen pairs of human 
ears, told him he had sworn to increase the number to twenty- 
five. From Arizona he went to Chihuahua, near which city he 
killed his tra^-elling companion ; and some months later we heard 
that, having brutally murdered a family of four persons at El 
Paso, for the sake of a few dollars, he had been caught and hung 
by his heels over a slow fire. Thus his own ears made the twenty- 
fifth pair. 

One cannot come much in contact with such men without feel- 
ing how little human nature has been affected by the march of 
society, and how subject to conventional influences are even the 
passions of man. The workings of conscience come to seem a re 
finement of civilization, but so artificial that they are absent in 
the absence of the restraints of the civilization in which they 
originate. An eminent clergyman has said that colonization is 
essentially barbarous : certainly, from the time when the pioneer 
first enters a new country, until, with increasing population, the 
growing interests of individuals and society necessitate the bri- 
dling of crime, the standard of right and wrong is far below that 
even of many peoples whom we class as savages. And, other 
things being equal, it is by the lesser or greater rapidity of this 
transformation process, that we may measure the superiority or 
inferiority of the parent civilization. 

In a few days we approached the worst part of the desert ; the 
watering-places became more separated and the supply smaller. 
Our route lay over broad gravelly plains, bearing only cacti, with 
here and there the leafless palo-verde tree, and the never-failing 
greasewood bush. In the distance, on either side, arise high 
granite mountains, to which the eye turns in vain for relief;, they 
are barren and dazzling masses of rock. Night brought only 
parching winds, while during the day we sought in vain for shel- 
ter from the fierce sun-rays. The thermometer ranged by day 
between 118 and 126 degrees in the shade, rising to 160 degrees 

58 A0B08S AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap,iv, 

in the sun. On these vast deserts the sluggish rattlesnake meets 
the traveller at every turn ; the most powerful inhabitant, his 
sway is undisputed by the scorpions and the lizards, on which he 
feeds. The routes over these wastes are marked by countless 
skeletons of cattle, horses, and sheep, and the traveller ■ passes 
thousands of the carcasses of these animals wholly preserved in the 
intensely dry air. Many of them dead, perhaps, for years,, had 
been placed upright on their feet by previous travellers. As we 
wound, in places, through groups of these mummies, they seemed 
sentinels guarding the valley of death. 

With feelings of much anxiety we encamped on the border of 
the joZeyas, a depressed region, once probably a large lake,- now a 
surface of dried mud, crossed by ridges of shifting sand.' From 
that camp on, there lay before us a continuous ride of nearly 
thirty hours, before we could hope to find the nearest water on 
the Gila river, and it was not probable that all our animals could 
bear up under the fatigue and thirst. 

But during the night the sky was overcast with black clouds, 
and there came the first rain that had fallen on this desert for 
more than two years. Never was storm more welcome ; both we 
and our animals enjoyed heartily its drenching torrent. Before 
day-break the sky had cleared, and with the rising sun began the 
heat of another day. A broad sheet of water, only a few inches 
deep, covered the play a for miles before us, and banished from our 
minds all fear of suffering. Across the centre of this great plain 
there stretches, from north to south, a mass of lava about one 
mile wide, and extending southward as far as the eye can reach. 
On this lava-wall there stand two parallel rows of extinct vol- 
canic cones, 100 to 300 feet high, with craters. In crossing 
this remarkable remnant of recent volcanic action, I could look 
down, the long and perfect vista of regular cones, till they 
faded away in the perspective and behind the curvature of the 

On the second day after the rain, the water had almost every- 
where disappeared, having been evaporated by the heat and 
di-yness of the air. Leaving the plain, we sought water in 
a ravine of the neighboring mountain. Finding here cavities 
worn in the face of the granite cliff, we each entered one and 
made our noon camp for once in the shade. Here I found a 


large pair of horns of the Rocky Mountain sheep, or "hig-hom:" 
they weighed at least thirty pounds. 

Qur next camp was made at the Tinaje alta or high tanks. 
Here, at the head of a long ravine in the mountains, there is a 
series of five or six large holes, one above the other, worked in the 
granite bed of the gorge. After a rain these are all filled, but as 
the season advances, the lower ones become empty, and the 
traveller is obliged to climb to the higher tanks and bail water 
into the one below him, and from this into the next, and so on till 
there is enough in the lowest to quench the thirst of his animals. 
The higher tanks are accessible only at great risk to life. After 
a succession of dry seasons it sometimes happens that travellers 
arrive here already dying from thirst. water in the 
lower holes, they climb in vain to the higher ones, where, perhaps, 
losing strength with the death of hope, they fall from the nar- 
row ledge, and the tanks, in Avhich they seek for life, become 
their graves. 

A ride of one day from the Tinaje alta brought us to the Gila 
river, at one of the stations of the abandoned overland stage route. 
Here a piece cut from a newspaper and fastened to the door of the 
house, first informed us of the defeat of the North at Bull Run. 
Indeed, almost the last news we had received before this from 
the East, was of the firing on Fort Sumter. 

Our route now lay along the Gila river. Stopping in the af- 
ternoon, we sought relief from the heat by taking a bath in the 
stream ; but the water which we had found pleasant in the morn- 
ing was now unpleasantly wai-m, and on trying it with the ther- 
mometer, the mercury sank from IIV degrees in the air, only to 
100 degrees in the water, which was thus two degrees above 
blood-heat. During the night we were travelling by the bright 
light of the full moon, when, looking south, I saw a black wall 
rising like a mountain of darkness, and rapidly hiding the sky as 
it moved steadily toward us. In a few minutes we were in in- 
tense obscurity, and in the heart of a sand-storm which rendered all 
progress impossible. Dismounting, we held the terrified animals 
by the lassos, and sat down with our backs to the wind. We 
had repeatedly to rise to j^revent being buried altogether by the 
deluge of sand. When the storm was over the moon had set, oblig- 
ing us to unload our half-buried animals and camp for the night. 


The next morning we reached Colorado city (opposite Fort Yu- 
ma), on the Colorado river. This place, consisting of one house, 
had a curious origin, which was told me by a friend, who was also 
the founder. Soon after the purchase of Arizona, my friend had 
organized a party and explored the new region. Wishing to raise 
capital in California to work a valuable mine, he was returning 
thither with his party, when they reached the Colorado river at 
this point. The ferry belonged to a German, whose fare for 
the party would have amounted to about $25. Having no 
money, they encamped near the ferry to hold a council over this 
unexpected turn of affairs, M'hen my fiiend, with the ready wit of 
an explorer, hit upon the expedient of paying the ferriage in 
city lots. Setting the engineer of the party, and under him the 
whole force, at work with the instruments, amid a great display 
of signal-staffs, they soon had the city laid out in squares and 
streets, and represented in due form on an elaborate map, not 
forgetting water lots, and a steam ferry. Attracted by the unu- 
sual proceeding, the owner of the ferry crossed the river, and be- 
gan to interrogate the busy surveyors, by whom he was referred 
to my friend. On learning from that gentleman that a city was 
being founded so near to his own land, the German became inter- 
ested, and, as the great future of the place was unfolded in glow- 
ing terms, and the necessity of a steam ferry for the increasing 
trade dwelt upon, he became enthusiastic and began negotiations 
for several lots. The result was the sale of a small part of the 
embryo city, and the transportation of the whole party over in 
part payment for one lot. I must do my friend the justice to say 
that he afterward did all that could be done to forward the 
growth of the place. 

Making our quarters at the ferry-house, our party separated, 
the colored cook going, with the muleteer, back to his Mexican 
wife, in Sonora. The two Americans who had joined us on the 
road lived near the fort ; with their departure, our number was 
reduced to three. 

During our stay of several days, we saw a good deal of the 
Yuma Indians, a tribe which, till within a few years, was cele- 
brated for the beauty of its women. But this quality was al- 
ready causing the destruction of the tribe, and while we were 
there we saw the funeral ceremonies of the last of the beautiful 


women. TJrjlike most of the Indians, the Yumas bum their dead. 
In this instance, a pile of wood about eight feet long, and four or 
five feet wide, left hollow in the centre to receive the body, 
formed the funeral pile. The body, wrapt in the clothing of the 
deceased, and borne by relatives, was placed in the pile, which 
was then lighted. As the flames increased, friends approached 
the spot, with low and mournful wailing, to feed the fire with 
some article of dress, or ornament. One after another, the young 
Yu^ma women were disappearing, victims to disease brought by 
the troops, and which, it seems, the military physicians did little 
to prevent the spread of. 

Both the men and women of this tribe are large and well 
built. The women wear a short skirt, made of strings of bark, fas- 
tened to a girdle around the waist, and reaching to above the 
knees. The most important weapon of the warriors is a short 
club, an unusual implement among our aborigines. 

The Colorado river is about five hundred yards broad at Fort 
Yuma, and its yellowish waters represent the drainage of the 
greater part of Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado. Nav- 
igable for steamboats to the mouth of the Virgin river, live 
hundred miles from the Gulf of California, it presents the means 
of reaching Utah with the least land travel. 

Above this point it comes in from the east, and southeast, and 
in this part of its course, the Grand Canon is one of the greatest 
of natural wonders, if, indeed, it be not the most remarkable. 
For a distance of nearly five hundred miles the river flow s 
through a gorge, whose vertical, and, in places, overhanging walls, 
rise on either side to a height of from four to six thousand feet. 
Indeed, the explorations of Ives and Newberry have shown that 
throughout this immense area, which forms a table-land between 
the Kocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada, the whole river 
system of the Colorado and its tributaries is sunk thousands of 
feet j)erpendicularly into the crust of the earth. 

Through this almost inaccessible region are scattered the rem- 
nants of the Pueblo Indians, a disappearing race which has left, 
over an immense area, the ruins of large dwellings, and of exten- 
sive canals for irrigation. 

After resting a few days we made preparations to continue 
our journey to California. An emigrant who, with his wife, had 

62 ACBOSS AMEBIC A AND ASIA. [chap. rv. 

Ijeen forced by the secessionists to leave Texas, agreed to caiTy 
our baggage in his wagon. He left the ferry in the morning, 
while we were to start in the evening, and overtake him at the 
first encampment on the desert. During the day there arrived 
a man whom I knew to be a notorious cut-throat. This fellow, 
a tall one-eyed villain, who was known as "one-eyed Jack," I 
knew must have just come from Arizona. He wore trowsers of 
-which one leg was white, and the other brown. It was soon 
evident that the new arrival and Williams were old cronies, and 
they passed most of the day together. Before, we left in the 
evening I asked Williams the name of his friend, and received 
for answer that he was called Jack, that he had just come from 
California, and Svas going to Arizona. 

We left the ferry about dusk, but before we had gorie half a 
mile Williams had disappeared. Our route lay for several miles 
along the west side of the Colorado, and Poston and myself rode 
to the point where the road leaves the river to turn westward. 
Here we descended the bank to water the horses, and dismount- 
ing, waited nearly an hour for our missing companion. We finally 
started without him, and leaving the river, began to cross the 
wooded bottom-land toward the desert. We had ridden a short 
distance when a bush, freshly fallen across the road, seemed to be 
a warning that the route was impracticable further on. Poston 
remained by the signal, while I looked in vain for another way 
through the underbrush ; it was evident that the bush had been 
cut since the passage of the wagon that morning. I had started 
through the open wood to strike the road some distance beyond, 
when my attention was drawn, by my horse's uneasiness, to a 
mule tied in the woods, and to a man stretched out on the ground. 
At a glance I saw from a distance, by the different-colored legs 
of the man's trousers, that " one-eyed Jack "was near me. Without 
stopping, I went to the road, and following this back, came upon 
Williams's horse fastened to a tree, and near him his owner appar- 
ently asleep. On being asked what the bush meant, he replied 
that he had put it there that we might not pass him while he 
slept. That was the last place where we would find grass, and 
as there would be no water for thirty miles, he said we must 
camp there for the night. In the mean time Poston rode up. 
The truth had already entered my mind. But dismounting, while 


I pretended to unbuckle my saddle-girth, I asked Williams where 
he had been. 

" I went back to the river for my canteen." 

This I knew was a lie, for I had seen him drink from it as we 
left the ferry. 

" When is your one-eyed friend going to Arizona ?" I asked. 

"He's gone already; I saw him across the river ;" was the cool 

The villain's coolness was admirable, but the whole plot was 
clear. Jumping into the saddle, and making a sign to Poston, I 
declared my intention of riding on to the emigrant's camp. As 
Williams swore he would go no further that night, we left him 
and soon entered the desert. We both decided that Williams 
and his friend had conspired to kill us while we slept, and then 
to murder the emigrant and his wife, and get possession of the 
silver which had attracted the Mexican bandits.* 

Leaving the woods, which form a narrow strip along the Colo- 
rado, wo passed a belt of shifting sand several miles broad, which 
is gradually approaching the river and burying the trees. 

We reached the camp of the emigrant at about 3 a. Ji., and enter- 
ing the abandoned station of the Overland Stage Company, slept 
soundly till roused by the noise of the preparation for breakfast. 
After we had eaten and begun to saddle our animals, Williams 
rode up, and entering the house rather roughly told the lady-like 
wife of the emigrant to make him a breakfast. Some sharp 
words passed between us, and Williams left the house with an 
oath and a muttered threat. Poston beckoned to me, and we 
went out. Our companion stood a few yards from the door, with 
his back toward us, and did not notice our approach. Poston 
drawing his revolver, called Williams by name. Taken by sur- 
prise he whii-led around, and catching sight of the revolver, made 
a motion toward his own ; but he was too old a hand to draw a 
pistol against one already pointed at him. 

" Williams," continued Poston, in the coolest tone, " Pumpelly 
and I have concluded that it wouldn't be safe for you to go to 
California. The last man you killed has not been dead long 

* Colonel Poston on a snbsegnent jonmey learned in Sonora, that the twelve Mexicans 
had followed us for more than 200 miles, but finding- us always on the watch, had not dared 
attack ns. 


enough, and they have a way there of hanging men like you. 
We don't wish to shoot you, for we hav'nt the time to bury you. 
You may keep the outfit, hut you had better go back and join your 
friend; one-eyed Jack, down there by the river ; you and he can't 
kill us, and you can't get our silver." 

With a hearty laugh, Williams held out his hand. 

" Give us your hand ; you're sharper by a d — d sight than I 
thought you was ; you'll do ■ for the border ; good morning !" 
and jumping into the saddle, he put spurs to his horse and rode 
away by the road he had come. We watched him as he rode off, 
and could not help laughing at the fellow's cool impudence. 
After riding a short distance he turned, and, waving his hat, 
shouted : " Good-bye ; bully for you ! — you'll do for the border." 
I have given this scene in full, as an illustration of the character 
of a representative of one type of the frontiersman. 

The desert we were now crossing begins in Lower California, 
and stretches several hundred miles northward, between the Sierra 
Nevada and the Colorado river. ' Portions of this great area are 
depressed below the level of the sea. Where we crossed it, partly 
in Lower California and partly in California, it was the worst of 
deserts. Its centre, along our route, was a broad plain of fine, 
sandy clay, strewn with fresh-water shells, and appeared to be the 
dry bed of a fresh-water lake, which was once, probably, supplied 
from the Colorado river. Away from this plain the surface is 
covered with ridges of shifting sand. The wells dug by the Over- 
land Stage Company yield a sulphurous and alkaline water, so 
fetid as to be undrinkable; excepting when the traveller is driven to 
it by fear of death from thirst. Indeed, it often induces a disease 
which sometimes proves fatal. On no desert have I seen the 
mirage so beautiful as here. 

Riding one night, we saw before us a camp fire,- by which we 
found an American and one Mexican. As meeting a traveller on a 
desert is always an event, we dismounted and smoked while the 
others were eating. The American was on his way to Sonora, 
and the Mexican was his guide. We told him how dangerous it 
then was to travel through the intermediate country, and in Sonora. 

" Well, I guess I'm pretty much proof against bullets and 
lances, stranger; just feel here; "he replied, putting his hand 
on his breast. 


"We felt his shirt, and found it double, and lined all round with 
discs of something heavy. 

" Those are all twenty-dollar gold pieces ; I'm pretty much 
proof, " he continued. It was useless to give further warning to a 
man who published the fact that he was encased in gold, so we left 
him to his fate. We heard afterward, all the way to Los Angeles, 
that he had everywhere boasted of his golden armor ; and, later 
still, that he had been murdered by his guide. This man was the 
associate of Palmer, with whom he had caused an excitement iu 
San Francisco about a rich silver mine they pretended to have 
discovered in a volcano in the Sierra Nevada. After raising a 
large sum of money they decamped. The body of Palmer was 
discovered some time afterward in Tulare county. 

Finally, in the beginning of September, we approached the 
western edge of the Colorado desert. Travelling by moonlight, 
we entered the valley of Carisso creek, by which the desert sends 
an arm, Uke an estuary, into the mountains which limit it. As 
though fearful that the traveller may forget the horrors of a thou- 
sand miles of journey over its awful wastes, the desert, as a last 
farewell, unfolds in this dismal recess a scene never to be forgotten. 

Already from the plain, through the clear moonlight, we saw 
the lofty range bordering the waste, a barren wilderness of dark 
rock rising high above the gray terraces of sand that fringe its 
base, great towering domes and lowering cliffs rent to the bottom, 
and clasping deep abysses of darkness. 

As all night long we forced our way through the deep sand of the 
gorge, winding among countless skeletons, glittering in the moon- 
light, scorched by hot blasts ever rushing up from the deserts 
behind us, we seemed wandering through the valley of the shadow 
of death, and flying from the very gates of hell. 

The next day we reached the summit of the Sierra Nevada, and 
felt the breeze from the ocean. In an instant both horse and 
rider raised their drooping heads, and, quickened as with a new 
life, dropped the accumulated languor of months of travel. 

As we descended the western declivity of the mountains, our 
eyes greeted everywhere by herds of cattle and magnificent live- 
oaks, it seemed impossible that the cheerful land we were travers- 
ing should be a frame to the scene of desolation we had left the 
day before. 


Our route to Los Angeles lay through the stock ranches which 
form, with the vineyards, the principal industrial feature of the 
southern part of California. Almost the entire population con- 
sisted of emigrants from the Southern States, and so strong was 
the hatred felt toward the North, since the news of the rebel vic- 
tories, that a Northerner was in as great danger as he would have 
been in the worst parts of the South. 

With our arrival at Los Angeles ended our journey on horse- 
back ; a coasting steamer took us to San Francisco. Colonel 
Poston returned by the Isthmus to the Eastern States, and I 
passed two or three months in visiting some of the principal min- 
ing districts, preparatory to beginning the practice of my pro- 

California is well known, of late, to all the inhabitants of the 
Eastern States, and is perhaps more widely known throughout the 
world, through books of travel and family letters, in every lan- 
guage, than any other part of the globe. Therefore I shall not 
stop to dwell upon it, intensely interesting though it be, not more 
from its great and varied natural resources than from its wonder- 
ful history. Twenty years ago an almost uninhabited and un- 
known region, California had every prospect of having to await 
the gradual westward-bound progress of population. As if by 
magic, the discovery of gold transformed it into a land teeming 
with the energy, enterprise, and daring of every people, while at 
the same time it became the place of refuge of all the criminals 
and ruffians who could escape from justice, and buy or work a 
passage thither. Thus arose on the instant a state of society in 
which justice had little voice, and in which the revolver enforced 
the law of might. 

Such was its birth. The California of to-day is a monument 
of the manner in which not merely Americans, but men of every 
political education, once inoculated with the spirit of self-govern- 
ment, have evolved order and stability out of a state of dissolu- 
tion. And even thus, California is but the embryo of a giant, 
whose future growth will be, perhaps, less dependent on the na- 
tions of the Atlantic, than on those which are destined, in the next 
centuries, to encircle the Pacific with the homes of future civili- 

Shortly before my arrival in San Francisco, the Japanese Gov- 


ernment had instructed Mr. C. W. Brooks, their commercial 
agent, to engage two geologists and mining engineers, for the 
purpose of exploring a part of the Japanese Empire. Through a 
misunderstanding, a copy of the con-espondence, which passed 
through our minister at Yeddo, having been sent to Washington, 
our own Government proceeded to make the appointments. By 
a pure coincidence I was chosen as one of the two men, both at 
Washington and at San Francisco, my colleague appointed from 
the former place being Dr. J. P. Kimball, and from the latter, 
Mr. W. P. Blake. 

In preparing for this journey I became indebted to many kiad 
friends, especially to Professor J. D. Whitney, of the State Geo- 
logical Survey, and to his Assistants, Messrs. Brewer and Ash- 
burner, as well as to Messrs. Louis Janin and Henry Janin, of the 
Enrequita mines. 



On the 23d of November, 1861, Mr. Blake and myself went 
aboard the clipper-ship " Carrington," which was bound to Yoko- 
hama, by way of Honolulu. Among the passengers were Lady 
Franklin, and her niece, Miss Craycroft. At midnight, the friends 
who had come to see us off left the ship. With the hoisting of 
the anchor we cut loose from the New World, and, drifting 
through the Golden Gate, began the long voyage over the 
great ocean. The rising sun found us still in sight of the Fa- 
rellones, and rocking in the long swell of a calm and glassy sea. 
Another clipper, also calm-bound, lay a mile or two from us ; while 
in the distance, the white sails of pilot boats and fishing smacks 
seemed to fan the horizon as they rolled with the monotonous 
motion of the swell. The day was nearly gone without bringing 
a breath of air, when it became evident that the neighboring 
clipper and our ship were slowly but surely approaching each 
other. It was a large vessel, bearing only ballast, while our 
smaller craft was heavily loaded. Every i-oll of th e long swell 
brought us nearer together, until it se emed as though every mip- 
u^e- must bring the sharp bow of the imme nse ship crashing 
through the frail side of the " Carrington." 

Captain Mather sent for the passengers to be ready for escape, 
and ordered the crew on deck with axes in hand. Already th e 
black hull of the oth er ship towered high above us, as she rose 
on the top of a roll, threatening to crusFusTnlier descent. The 
c aptains' held a Tiurried council lrom ~t Eeir "quarter-decks. '" As a 
l ast hope for their vessels, they decidedlhat the " Carrington," be - 
ing the heavier laden, should drop ancho r. This was done^r 
we were still over the bar, and almost at the same instant a faint 
breath of air, barely perceptible to a landsman, moved our neigh- 
bor slowly off. 

The "Carrington" had just made the shortest trip on record, 



from Yokohama to San Francisco, having been less than twenty- 
seven days on the way, atad we hoped that the present voyage 
would be correspondingly short, or less than fifty days. But we 
were doomed to make the longest time between the two ports. 

The first part of the voyage was marked by delightful weather, 
in the region of refreshing trade winds. I improved the opportu- 
nity for practicing navigation, and, between this occupation and 
the usual amusements on shipboard the days passed quickly by. 

On the 17th of December a peak of the island of Maui, and 
soon after the island of Molokai, and the next morning three 
peaks of Oahu, were visible. As we approached the last named 
island, the small but well-defined crater near " Coco head," and 


later, that at Diamond point, rose from the surf, outposts of the 
great volcanic group we were entering. The following morning, 
having taken a pilot, we steered for the entrance to Honolulu. 
As we approached the island the scene was truly enchanting. A 
dense carpet of delicate green, like that of a newly-opened leaf, 
mantled the island, and descending from the tops of the high 
hills, disappeared behind the long tufty walls of snowy-white 
surf-foam. Groves of cocoanut trees and bananas, and taro- 
terraces, formed the foreground, above which arose the green and 
denSely-wooded hills of the interior. 
As we were to remain only a day or two at Honolulu, we has- 


tened on shore. Having letters to Dr. Judd, one of the original 
cabinet members instrumental in framing the Hawaiian Govern- 
ment, Mr. Blake and myself received a cordial reception from 
that gentleman and Mr. Carter, and an invitation to make our 
stay at their houses. The day was spent in a pleasant ride to 
the Par6, a mountain pass, celebrated alike for its magnificent 
view and for a desperate battle fought during the war which 
ended in the union of all the Islands under one King. The road 
leading to this place winds up a broad valley, of which the sides 
sweep with a gentle curve, on either side, up to the foot of the 
high cliffs which wall it in. 

The valley is cultivated, while the ravines are filled with dense 
foliage, and every nook and ledge on the cliffs give root-hold to 
luxuriant over-hanging masses of delicate green. 

At last we stood on the pass. The view before us was one of 
■ which the Hawaiians might well be proud. We stood on the top 
of a high cliff, with a large and nearly circular valley beneath us. 
Away to the right and left stretched the lofty walls, curving 
gradually around as if to enclose the valley on all sides, and 
draped in rich tropical green, relieved here and there by the 
red and brown cliffs, and towers of rock. 

Away in the distance, the green of the valley-carpet gave place 
to the blue of the ocean-background ; the narrow belt of surf, 
dashed to foam over the white coral bottom, forming a line of 
harmony between the two colors. 

While we were at the Pare, an incident occurred which illus- 
trates a curious superstition still prevalent among the people. 
In examining the volcanic rock, of which the hills consist, my 
attention was attracted to what I took to be a wax-like mineral, 
known as palagonite. Detaching it without much trouble, I was 
surprised at finding a hole behind it, apparently containing more 
of the same substance. 

Hoping to increase my supply of a rare mineral from a new 
locality, I stowed away in my pooket, without a closer examina- 
tion, the piece I had obtained, and proceeded carefully to dig out 
the rest with my knife. Much to our astonishment, the prize 
produced from the hole was a half-decayed rag. A closer exam 
ination of the supposed mineral, so carefully treasured in my 
pocket, showed that it belonged decidedly to the animal king- 


dom. Mr. Carter asked an explanation from some passing natives. 
They explained that the substance found was the navel of som e 
infant, it being an ancient custom, at the birth of a child, for the 
parents to hide this part of the infant to whom alone the place 
of concealment is afterward shown. Should an enemy, by any 
chance, discover the sacred repository, it would be in his power to 
bring about the death of the unsuspecting owner by sorcery. 

The Sandwich Islands, lying in the middle of the Pacific, be- 
tween 19 and 23 degrees N. latitude, and in the track of all vessels 
bound from our western ports to eastern Asia, hold the most im- 
portant position among the groups in the great ocean. They are 
the chief rendezvous for whalers ; and before the decline of that 
branch of industry, nearly the entire commerce of the Islands 
centred in the necessities of these roving fleets, and the transship- 
ment of whale oil and bone. The decrease of this external source 
of wealth is now being compensated by the development of the 
resources, chiefly agricultural, of the Islands. 

With a temperature averaging 75 degrees through the year, 
and ranging between the extremes of 60 and 88 degrees, and 
always fanned by the northeast trade- winds, the climate is exceed- 
ingly healthy, and may make of the group the sanitarium of the 

When discovered by Cook, in 17 "7 8, the Islands were under the 
rule of separate chiefs ; but about the beginning of the present cen- 
tury, after a desperate war, they were all subjugated by Kame- 
hameha I. and united into one kingdom under him. In 1820 the 
first missionaries arrived from the United States. According to 
Dr. Anderson, they found property, life — everything, in fact — in 
the hands of the King and irresponsible chiefs — the nation com- 
posed of thieves, drunkards, and debauchees, and the people 
slaves to the sovereign. The labors of the missionaries began 
immediately, and met with the approval of the King, Kameha- 
meha II. 

In 1822 the Hawaiian language was reduced to writing, and 
schools were established. Under the influence of the missionaries 
the machinery of a liberal government with a code of laws was in- 
troduced; public works were undertaken; general education was 
fostered • and in 1 840 a liberal constitution was granted by the King, 
Karaehameha IV. At present there are more than 400 schools, 

72 AOSOSS AMEBIC A AM) ASIA. [chap. v. 

and one college. More tlian one-tMrd of the population can read, 
and nearly all the children attend the schools. Several hundred 
works, representing a considerable range of science, literature, 
and reUgious instruction, have been translated into Hawaiian. 

Increasing intelligence has increased the wants of the people. 
While during their condition as savages nearly all the demands of 
life were supplied by the voluntary gifts of a tropical nature, 
the requisites of civilized life are obtainable only through labor. 
Under this stimulus the natives have mainly, through oral instruc- 
tion, attained to considerable skill in agriculture, and in manufac- 
turing simple products, as sugar, molasses, salt, arrow-root, etc., 
as well as in working in iron and other metals. In 1858 the ex- 
ported domestic produce, mostly agricultural, amounted to about 
$530,000, and the total commerce to $1,089,661 imports, and $787,- 
082 exports, yielding $116,138 to the customs revenue. The im- 
ports have since risen to $1,800,000, and the exports to $1,330,000. 
The receipts of the treasury for the two years ending March 31, 
1860, were $656,216, the expenditures $643,088, and the national 
debt $108,777. No standing army is kept beyond the royal 
body-guard of eighty men. 

The above sketch of the history and commerce of these islands, 
taken mainly from the " American Encyclopedia," speaks for itself, 
as an illustration of the rapid change effected in the condition of 
the natives through the well-directed labors of an intelligent body 
of missionaries. 

The history of our intercourse with the Sandwich Islands, pre- 
sents perhaps the best standard by which we may judge of the 
effect of the engrafting of European civilization on the widely- 
spread Polynesian and Malay races. 

Before the arrival of Cook on their shores, the inhabitants of 
these Islands were a race of savages, possessed of health and robust- 
ness to a degree equalled only among the kindred New Zealanders, 
and enjoying fully the indolence almost forced upon them by the 
abundance of the voluntary gifts of the earth. On the other 
hand, they were oppressed by the terrors of a dark and bloody 
religion, which was able at any moment to drag individuals or 
families to the altar as sacrifices to the caprice of a chief or a 

As is generally the case in new regions, European civilization 


has been there represented by its extremes of good and evil. 
For many years the Government of these Islands has been virtually 
in the hands of a body of zealoiis and intelligent missionaries, 
who, as we have seen, have succeeded in forming a constitutional 
monarchy with a liberal code of laws. 

The Christian religion has taken the place of the terrible rites 
of human sacrifice, and with the introduction of a written language, 
and the establishment of numerous schools, education became 
open to all, and its advantages are availed of by the entire popu- 

In no part of the extra-Caucasian world has modern missionary 
enterprise efiected so much social and political good as among 
the Polynesians, and especially in the Sandwich Islands, and it 
has indeed been a great good. But it would seem that those 
very characteristics of the Polynesian race whicli rendered the 
effecting of this possible, facilitated in even a more easy ratio the 
introduction of the seeds of destruction. 

It is easy to understand, when viewing them as a people pos- 
sessing no civilization of a higher degree than was theirs, and 
therefore governed by traditional customs, morally, socially, and 
politically, of a very low order, the offspring of the animal rather 
than of the intellectual faculties, that among them the influence 
of the debauching sailor should be as potent for evil as that of 
the missionary for good. 

The immense difference between the results of these opposing 
influences may be measured by the fact that the population of 
the group diminished from 140,000 in 1823, to 73,000 in 1853 — a 
loss of nearly one-half in thirty years, owing mainly to the intro- 
duction of foreign vices and foreign disease. Whether this de- 
crease will continue till the extinction of the aborigmes is per- 
haps not certain ; but it is hardly probable that the Polynesians, 
as a pure race, will play any very important part in the great 
future that is dawning upon the Pacific world. 

The costume introduced by the missionaries, nearly fifty years 
afo, is still the dress of the native women. It consists of long 
skirts, high waists, immense coal-scuttle bonnets, and, apparently, 
no underclothing. The effect was laughable, as we met troops 
of pretty girls mounted astride of ponies, and dressed in the 
costume of our grandmothers' portraits, chattering and laughing 


gayly as ttey cantered along, their l)riglit-colored dresses flut- 
tering in the wind, and scarcely concealing their well-rounded 

It was not without much difficulty that the missionaries suc- 
ceeded in making these children of nature adopt any dress what- 
ever, even for decent attendance at church. Even now, I have 
been told, on some of the islands, the people bring on Sunday all 
their clothing in a bundle to the door of the church, where they 
dress, and after service doffing their costume, carry it homeward 
under their arms. 

Honolulu, with its pleasant society, delightful climate and trop- 
ical fruits, as well as its beautiful scenery, is destined to become 
a favorite resort for visitors from California and the neighboring 
States. Until within a few y ears- the group enjoyed an absolute 
freedom from the disagreeable insects and reptiles common to the 
tropics, but at present mosquitoes abound, the legacy of a ship 
which stopped there some years ago on its way from Oregon t o 
Asia with a cargo of lumber. 

After a delightful visit of two days we left Honolulu, and 
again settled down to the routine of life at sea. Hoping to find 
more favorable winds we ran several degrees south, till brought 
to a standstill by a calm. Here, for days, our ship lay appar- 
ently motionless, on a perfectly smooth sea, though our observa- 
tions showed that the great equatorial current was carrying us 
on our way at the rate ot a&o ut titty miles a da y^ A large sharK 
hovered around bur stern, his companion, a pilot-fish, almost 
always visible, swimming near the dorsal fin of the monster. A 
large hook, baited with beef, was thrown overboard. The shark 
turned on his back, and quickly swallowing the bait, turned 
again and was caught. The home-end of the rope was passed 
through a block, and soon the great monster was being raised to 
the quarter-deck. While in this position a violent blow from 
his tail against the stem of the ship shook the latter through its 
whole length, showering into the sea nearly our entire stock of 
bananas, which had been hung over the stern to ripen. 

During the calm, the smooth surface of the ocean bore myriads 
of zoophytes,mostly Physales (Portugese man-of-war) and Velellae, 
with here and there an lanthina and a Ehysostoma. The Velellae, 
a flat oval disc about an inch long, with an upright membrane 


like a sail crossing it obliquely, floated leisurely on the surface. 
Many dead ones were found having small mollusks attached to 
them, these pirates using then- victims at the same time for food 
and means of locomotion. 

The rhysostoma and physales lived for several hours in a 
bowl of sea water, and both of them emitted a phosphorescent 
light, when stirred in the dark. Many were the sharp stings we 
received from the long arms of the latter, when they chanced 
to touch the back of the hand or the face. 

In violation of all sailing directions, our captain now decided 
to run north and then west to Japan, and with the first favorable 
wind we steered northwest till the calms of Cancer brought us 
again to a standstill, excepting the slow westwardly movement 
due to the current. The next wind permitted at first a north- 
westerly course, but soon bringing us into the region of westerly 
winds, our course slanted off to the north, and finally into east of 
north, and we ran again south into the calms of Cancer. During 
more than sixty days we were continually repeating this zigzag 
course, making some progress by casual breezes and the current 
in the calms of Cancer, and then running north in the vain hope 
of finding favorable winds. This was owing to the mismanage- i 
ment of the cap)tain, f^r it is an_jestablished fact, that from the 
27th degree north latitude north, the prevailing winds are from the 
west, while from the 23d degree north latitude to the equator, they 
are the trades blowing from the north-east, the two regions being 
separated by the belt of the calms of Cancer. 

At the end of a month we had not made half the distance be- 
tween Honolulu and Japan. About this time it was discovered 
that the great iron tank on which we relied for water had 
sprung a leak. As it was surrounded by the cargo, it was both 
impossible to get at the leak to stop it, or to find out how far 
it was from the bottom. The deck-casks were empty, the water 
sinking several inches daily in the tank, and it was impossible to 
say when we might reach land. The passengers and crew were 
immediately put on rations of water, each person receiving about 
a quart daily. 

During the greater part of the remaining distance we were 
tossed about by almost constant head winds and violent storms ; 
the three new sets of sails with which the ship had begun the 


voyage were reduced to one set made up of patches ; and the 
loss of the nut from a rudder-holt threatened to leave us without 
the means of steering. In addition to this, a disagreement be- 
tween the chronometers left us in doubt as to our exact position ; 
for we had seen no land since leaving the Sandwich Islands, 
although our course crossed repeatedly the long line of low reefs 
and rocks stretching thence to the northeast. 

On the evening of the 18th of February, the cry of "land !" 
brought us all on deck. A cone, so regular in shape as to leave 
no doubt of its being the Japanese volcano Fuziyama, was visible 
near the setting sun. The day and night were calm, and as we 
were now within, the influence of the Kurosiwo — the gulf stream 
of the Pacific — we were drifted northward, and in the morning 
were opposite Cape King. Hundreds of Japanese fishing boats 
were visible all day, and toward evening a favorable breeze 
brought us in sight of the volcano Oosima, from which arose a 
column of vapor. 

The next morning found us ofi" the entrance to the bay of Yeddo. 
Fuziyama was very distinct, its elegant cone completely mantled 
with snow, and rising high into the air above the intervening 
wooded hills. Far away, long before we had seen other land, 
the first glimpse we had caught of Asia and the Japanese Em- 
pire was the snow-clad cone of this graceful mountain. This beau- 
tiful volcano, rising 12,400 feet above the sea, is perhaps the first 
object associated with Japan in the minds of all who have seen 
the decorated wares of that country. It was, therefore, fitting 
that this only familiar object, like a solitary friend, should wel- 
come us as strangers to a land where all else was new to us. 

The entrance to the bay of Teddo does not make itself appar- 
ent till one is nearly in it ; and, owing to a misunderstanding of 
the sailing directions, we very nearly ran aground in taking a 
wrong course, which would have brought us ashore in Su-^aki 
bay. When we discovered the mistake the wind was gone, and 
we passed the day lazily and impatiently, watching the glassy sur- 
face of the sea for the " cat's-paw " forerunner of a breeze. The 
arrival of a boat, from which we bought some fish, was a wel- 
come excitement, as our cabin stores were entirely gone, and 
without the fish we should have been reduced to very bad junk 
and hard-tack. 


During the afternoon I amused myself in examining some of 
the many kinds of zoophytes with which these waters abound. 
One of these, a beroe, I believe, a small transparent hell-shaped 
animal, was marked with ciliated lines, radiating from the top, 
and continuing to the rim. Kept in a bowl of sea-water, and 
stirred in the dark, this animal emitted a beautiful phosphorescent 
light along all the ciliated lines, rendering these, and only these, 
distinct in every detail. 

Early the next morning we beat into the TJraga channel, the 
entrance to the bay. On both sides the shore was fonned by 
high hills, with numerous valleys and ravines. Rich foliage cover- 
ed the declivities, while small villages or isolated houses occupied 
the foreground in the valleys, the terraced sides and bottoms of 
which last were green with young grain. Fishing boats, and nets 
of many kinds, lay along the shore, while hundreds of junks were 
taking advantage of the fair wLad to leave the bay. Boats with 
fishermen were constantly coming off to us and offering fish. 
In their long dresses, it was impossible for us to distinguish be- 
tween the men and women. All were anxious to get empty 
bottles ; one of these, corked and thrown astern, would cause an 
exciting race between a score of boats. 

Soon we passed the long tongue of land known as Treaty 
point, and the bay of Yeddo opened before us so large that, in 
the northeast, no land was visible. Here Mr. Benson, U. S. 
Consul, and Mr. Brower, agent of Messrs. Olyphant & Co., came 
on board and invited Mr. Blake and myself to make our stay at 
their house. 



The scene which met us on landing, and through which we 
walked to Mr. Brower's house, was no less novel than husy. At 
the head of the quay we passed a long low building with black 
walls and paper windows. This was the custom-house, and a large 
number of men bearing two swords, and shuffling in sandals in and 
out at the doors, were the officials of this service. The broad 
streets, leading through the foreign quarter, were crowded with 
Japanese porters, bearing merchandise to and from the quay, each 
pair with their burden between them on a pole, and marking time 
independently of the others, with a loud monotonous cry — whang 
hai ! whang hai ! 

We immediately reported ourselves by letters to the Governor 
of Kanagawa, and receiving an answer from that officer that he 
would communicate with the Government at Yeddo, we settled 
down to await further orders. 

Yokohama is one of the three ports opened to foreign trade. 
The treaty called for the opening of Kanagawa, a large town on 
the opposite side of the harbor ; but the native Government 
wishing, in accordance with its policy, to keep foreigners distinct 
from Japanese, built an island in a shallow harbor, separating it 
from the main land by broad canals. On this they erected store- 
houses, and built a quay. With the day^^appointed for opening the 
port arrived the foreigners, eager to reap the first fruits of trade, 
and these earliest comers, finding conveniences prepared for them 
which did not exist in Kanagawa, accepted readily the position 
assigned them by the cunning Government. Yokohama is infin- 
itely better adapted to trade than Kanagawa, so far as the harbor 
facilities are concerned, and is far more easily defended against 
the attack of the assassinating Renins. Both reasons undoubt- 
edly entered into the plans of the Government ; but other equally 
important motives influenced it in building this isolated town. In 


the first place the Yeddo Government could say to the anti-for- 
eign party that no aliens had been allowed a dwelling-place on 
the island of Nippon. By this means the letter of the unrepealed 
, law against admission of " barbarians " was evaded. In the 
second place, by the isolation of foreigners and all who were per- 
mitted to trade with them, it was possible to keep a thorough con- 
trol over commerce. 

Soon after our arrival we started on an excursion to visit the 
Daibutz, a colossal image of Budda. The road thither lay 
across the country intervening between the bays of Yeddo and 
Wodowara. This region is a plateau, which, facing the former 
bay with a bluif about 100 feet high, extends inland about twenty- 
five miles to the Oyama mountains. This plain is cut up by in- 
numerable ravines and valleys which are cultivated, while the 
narrow intervening ridges are generally covered with forest trees. 
The ravines are terraced to the hill-tops, the upper half being 
devoted generally to wheat and other crops, while the lower half, 
as well as the valleys into which the ravines open, are given up to 
rice-culture. The water for this crop, in the ravines, is supplied 
by the outflow from a horizontal bed of gravel which everywhere 
crops out about haK-way up the hill-sides. Our road, rarely wide 
enough for two horsemen riding abreast, lay partly over the hills, 
while during much of the distance it wound among the rice planta- 
tions along the tops of the narrow partitions by which the inigat- 
ing water is confined to the fields, and where a misstep of the horse 
would have left both him and his rider floundering in deep mud. 

The highly-cultivated valley s unmarred by fences, the sober- 
looking farm-houses and cottages showing well-preserved age, 
shaded by handsome trees, and surrounded by neat hedges of 
growing bamboo, all united to form a landscape in which there 
was nothing harsh, and where the work of man seemed to har- 
monize with that of nature. 

Our way wound through several villages where the people, es- 
pecially the children, turned out to see us go by, the latter greet- 
ing us with the morning salutation : " ohaio ! " '' ohaio ! " Several 
times we passed large temple enclosures with imposing gateways 
of granite, from which broad stone walks led through groves of 
magniflcent trees to wide flights of stone steps, leading up the 
hill-side to the shrine at the top. 


About noon we reached Kamakura, and leaving our horses at 
au inn, started on foot to visit the Daibutz. A half-hour's walk 
along a comparatively broad road, leading under peculiar arch- 
ways placed at short intervals, brought us to the shore of Wod- 
owara bay, and near this to our destination. Passing through 
an enclosing grove of evergreens, we came into a large open space 
paved with flagstones. In the centre of this is the image. It 
represents Budda sitting, in the Oriental manner, on a lotus. It 
is of bronze, fifty feet high, and ninety-six feet in circumference at 
the base, and is raised on a pedestal five or six feet from the 

We had all come expecting to see some grotesque idol, and we 
were therefore pleasantly surprised, when, instead of this, we 
found ourselves admiring a work of high art. It is Budda in 
Nirvana. The sculptor has succeeded in impressing upon the cold 
metal the essence of the promise given by Sakyamuni to his fol- 
lowers, a promise which has been during more than twenty centu- 
ries the guiding hope of countless millions of souls. This is the 
doctrine of th e final attainment of Nirvana — t he state of utter 
annihilation ofextgrnai consciousn ess— after ages of purification 
by transmigration. 

Both the face, which is of the Hindoo type, and the attitude 
are in perfect harmony with the idea intended to be expressed. I 
felt that I saw for the first time, and where I least expected it, a 
realization, in art, of a religious idea. No Madonna on canvas, 
or Christ in marble, had ever been other to me than suggestive, 
through the aid of an acquaintance with the subjects treated. 
The Budda of Kamakura is a successful rendering of a profound 
religious abstraction. 

The head is covere d with small knobs, r epresenting the snails 
which tradition says came to prot ect Budda from the heat of th e 
burning sun. 

This image, which was made about 600 years ago, was cast in ] 
sections of a few square feet of surface each, and an inch or mo re 
thick, and when put together, the joints -y^ere fitted so closely 
that now, af ter the l apse of centuries, they can be detected only 
w here the~weather has made them visible in the disc oloration. 

The statue is hollow, and has in the interior a temple with 
many small images of the Buddist pantheon. Many of these 


without the lotus, -srould, in a Romish church, have passed readily 
for representations of the Virgin. 

It is said that a large temple once enclosed the Daibutz, but 
was destroye d by an earthquake-wave from the sea. l// .j^-^-'.^ : 

Returning to Kamakura, we ate a hearty lunch, which Iiad 
been brought and prepared by the servants of Mr. Keswick, and 
then started to visit the great temple grounds at this place. 

Passing under a large granite gateway and crossing a stone 
bridge, we entered the grounds by a broad flagged walk nearly a 
mile long. At short intervals, we crossed paved avenues leading 
through the open grove of trees which bore the marks of many 
centuries, and ascending by broad flights of steps to elevated 
shrines commanding long vistas over the surrounding land. On 
large terraces perfectly graded and paved and surrounded by 
carved stone balustrades, are built the great temples which ren- 
der Kamakura famous. The buildings are of imposing size, and 
areraisedafewfeetfromtheground. They are built of wood, the 
immense beams which appear under the widely-projecting roof 
being richly carved with the heads of dragons and storks. Every 
end of a timber is capped with copper, and large quantities of 
this metal are used inside and out of these edifices. On some of 
the temples great labor had been expended in very rich and ele- 
gant carving of the woodwork, and on some of the terraces we 
saw several large and graceful bronze vases. 

In one part of the grounds, sacredly guarded by an enclosure, 
there is a priapus, if one may so style a representation of the 
opposite sex, in a black stone, said to have fallen frOm heaven. 
It is worshipped by barren women. 

At the time of our visit the temples were closed, and we were told 
they had not been opened for several years. On a subsequent visit 
I found that a runner gave notice to the priests of the approach of 
foi'eigners, in time to close the buildings. This was a recent restric- 
tion, arising out of the shameful acts of some European visitors. 

Leaving Kamakura, wo ascended a valley bordered by many 
temple grounds, and commanded by small shrines, perched at the 
tops of long flights of moss-grown steps of stone. Through a 
deep artificial cut we passed from this valley over the water-shed, 
and descended to the fishing village of the Kanesawa, on the 
bay of Teddo, whence we reached Yokohama by boat. 


Finding the Government was not likely to forward us to our 
destination for some time to come, I engaged a teacher and began 
the study of the language. The young Japanese who undertook 
to teach me this most difficult tongue, though naturally bright, 
had not only no philosophical knowledge of its structure, but he 
did not know one word in any other language. The instruction 
was obtained through the medium of an English-Chinese diction- 
.ary, the teacher taking the place of a Chinese-Japanese pronounc- 
ino- lexicon. Progress thus made, though slow, was not always 
sure, and many were the words treasured up for use which had to 
be dropped when found to mean the very opposite of what I had 
supposed. After having carefully learned to read and write the 
Katakana alphabet of forty-nine letters, I was quite taken aback on 
finding that no books were printed in that chai'acter, and that 
there remained still the more difficult Hirakana alphabet, and 
the endless study of the Chinese character to be gone through 
with before I could hope to read anything beyond love-letters 
and novelettes. 

In the beginning of March there was to be a festival at the 
temple of Daishi (great teacher), in honor of the inventor of the 
Japanese alphabet. Mr. Benson and myself, on the day appointed, 
entered the boat of the Consulate, and crossing the harbor, 
followed the shore of the bay to the mouth of a small river, the 
sediment from which has produced a long delta. Notwithstand- 
ing the high tide, our boatmen had a hard pull up stream, till 
throwing off all their clothing they worked with a will at the 
long sculls, marking time with the monotonous " hwang ho ! 
hwang ho ! " or the quicker " hwai hi ! hwai hi ! " 

These boatmen, and indeed most of the men of the lower orders, 
are as a class the best built men I have seen. The muscles of 
the arm, leg, and back are equally well developed by the varyipg 
routine of their labors. The habit of being naked, with the ex- 
ception of the breech-clout while at work, renders their skin much 
darker than that of the middle and upper classes. 

After grounding several times we reached the landing nearest 
the temple. 

Passing through the village of Kawasaki, we ordered a dinner 
at one of the many inns, to be ready on our return. After leav- 
ing the village, our path lay part of the way between beautiful 



and well-kept hedges of evergreens and narrow avenues of tall 
trees, and partly through extensive peai^orchards. These pear- 
U-ees have the appearance of being very old, and at about ten 
feet from the ground are all cut off and trained on horizontal 
frames, thus exposing the fruit to the sun. All the pears I tried in 
Japan were tasteless things, and I believe it is not yet certain 
whether they are pears or apples. 

"We soon entered the enclosure of the temple and were sur- 
rounded by the crowd of visitors dressed in gala costume. 

An imposing building fronted us, approached by a broad flight of 
a dozen or more steps leading to a wide verandah, which went en- 
tirely around the temple. The massive overhanging roof, the great 
size of all the timbers used in the structure, and the gloom which 
seemed to pervade the interior as seen from without, all gave to the 
place an impressive appearance. I never approached a Japanese 
temple without an indescribable sensation, such as I imagine one 
would have felt in ascending the steps of the teocalli of Mexico 
during a sacrifice. 

The woodwork of the temple, outside and in, is richly carved. 
Over the high portal there is fastened a peculiar bell, shaped like 
a double gong, over the front of which hangs a thick silken-rope, 
reaching to the verandah. As we watch the motions of the 
worshippers an officer of some rank arrives, and stepping from 
his chair washes his hands in the fountain in the middle of the 

Slowly he mounts the steps, and giving a snake-like motion to 
the silken-rope, the bell gives out a clear but peculiar sound, the 
reverberations of which are lost in the sombre interior of the 
temple. Throwing himself on his knees and face, the worshipper 
now utters a short prayer, and rising, enters the building. 

Here a large number of priests, attending apparently the chief 
bonze, are perfoi-mingthe ritual, while others are engaged in telling 
fortunes, or selling illustrated guides to the temple. The air is 
loaded with burning incense rising from swinging censers and 
from countless vases. 

The fortime-teller holds in his hand a tube containing a largo 
number of sticks like crochet-needles, while before him is a case 
containing one hundred or more drawers. With a few coins we 
buy the right to try our luck in reading the future. The old 


man shakes the box and we each pull out a stick -vvith a number 
on it, which we find corresponds to a numbered box from which 
the priest hands us a printed paper ; this being in a mixture of 
Chinese and Japanese, and badly printed at that, is if anything a 
little harder to read than fnturity itself. The result of some hours 
of study Adth my. teacher over this paper, was the finding that it 
contained a good deal about clouds and water, an old man sitting 
under a cherry tree — that part was obscure, but the words, kahe, 
money, and kami, lord, evidently pointed to wealth and promor 
tion, but as I found out later that kan6 also means metal and 
crab, and kami means head and paper and other things, I do not 
consider that the record of my destiny is yet unravelled. 

On the wall of the temple hangs a large bronze tablet with the 
two alphabets, beautifully executed in high relief. The man who 
receives these honors can hardly be called the inventor of these 
alphabets, since the Katakana is made up from the Chinese radical 
charactei;s, while the , Hirakana is taken from characters of the 
Chinese adapted to a running hand. Still the application of these 
signs to the writing of the forty-nine soimds of the language was 
the beginning of a new era for Jaj)an. 

Even here, where there are crowds of visitors, everything is 
extremely neat, from the matted floor and waxed and polished 
verandah and steps of the temple to the smooth flags of the paved 
court and the great cluster of dustless bronze-work in its middle. 
With all this, the rich silk dresses and fresh faces of pretty, girls 
and the more sober costumes of men and niatrons are in keeping. 

When we reached the inn the landlady showed us to a room, 
and soon two neatly-dressed waitresses appeared with our dinner 
of soup, fish, rice, seaweed, eggs, mushrooms, and beche de mer, with 
warm saki or rice wine. If I had previously had any prejudice 
against Oriental cooking, it vanished with that dinner and never 
returned, not even in the heart of China. The two really pretty 
and graceful girls waited on us as though we had been Japanese 
olficers, even to lighting for us the tiny pipes of fragrant tobacco. 
I began to think that travelling in Japan was likely to be accom- 
panied with fewer hardships than I had been led to expect. It 
required some exertion to leave the gayly-decked village in time 
to float our boat out with the tide on our way homeward. 



The name Japan, by whicli we know that empire, is an European 
corruption of Ji pun quo {Ji — sun ; pun — root, or origin ; quo — 
land or country), the name by which it is called in the Peking 
dialect in China, and in which we see the origin of Marco Polo's 
Zipanga. This is the Chinese pronunciation of the Chinese char- 
acters with which the Japanese write the name of their empire, 
and which they pronounce Nipon, or Dai Nipon (Great Sun ori- 
gin); or, as it is usually rendered, Land of the Rising Sun. The 
imperial banner is a red sun on a white ground. Awa-dji-sima 
(awa — foam ; dji — earth ; sima — island,) is said to have been the 
original name. A veiy ancient name seems to have been Yamato 
( Jawza — mountain ; to — east), east of the mountains, by which a 
province is still designated. The pure Japanese language is still 
called Tamato-no kotoha. 

The Japanese empire forms the chief part of the long barrier 
chain of islands which, stretching along the eastern coast of Asia, 
separate the Great ocean from the Great continent. This chain, 
a mountain range partially submerged, rising above the surface 
of the ocean in the island of Formosa, trends northeast, through 
the Liukiu group, Kiusiu, Nipon, and Yesso, and, forking in the 
latter, sends off, due north, a geologically distinct branch in the 
island of Sagalien or Krafto, while the main range continues in 
its northeasterly course, through the long line of the Kuriles and 
the continental mountains of Kamschatka, to Behring's Straits. 

This outlying chain is the easternmost member of an extensive 
system of pai-allel ranges, which, reaching from Birmah to the 
Arctic ocean, determine nearly all the details in the configuration 
of eastern Asia in the same manner as the Appalachian system de- 
termines the outlines and details of eastern North America. In 
another work,* after giving reasons for uniting most of the moun- 

* " Geological Eeeeaiclies in China, Mongolia, and Japan." Smlthaoniau Institute, 1866. 

86 ACROSS AMEBIC A AND ASIA. [chap, til 

tains of eastern Asia under one system, I have shown the remark- 
able analogies which exist between this and the Appalachians. I 
have there proposed to unite all the mountains of the northeast and 
southwest system under one name — the Sinians. ji^--v Xcvu-kw, Ci^' 

Excepting Formosa, all the large islands of this chain belong 
to Japan. The greatest breadth across the middle of Nipon is 
about 200 miles, and the average width of the empire is less 
than 100 miles. But its narrowness is compensated for by its 
length, the principal islands ranging from N. L. 31 degrees to about 
50 degrees in the island of Sagalien, a length, following the axis, 
of over 1,G00 miles. 

Its backbone of older granite and metamorphic rocks is over- 
laid by younger formations, among which are at least coal-bear- 
ing deposits of one age, and Tertiary and Post-tertiary beds, 
while strata of the Cretaceous or Jurassic age exist on Yesso and 
Sagalien. Throughout its whole length this range is pierced by 
countless volcanic vents, and the lavas and tufas ejected from 
these sources, and in great part deposited originally under the 
sea, now form terraces and plains around the islands, and cover 
much of the interior. It is essentially a mountainous country ; 
and though the height of the interior is not known, it seems im- 
probable that the mountains, excepting some volcanic peaks, rise 
to a greater elevation than 4,000 to 6,000 feet, while even on Ni- 
pon the crest-line probably averages less than 3,000 feet. The 
volcano Fuziyama is said to be over 12,000 feet high, and other 
peaks of similar character may rise above 10,000 feet. 

The rivers, although very short, being merely coast streams, are 
often deep and navigable for small craft; they are, however, fre- 
quently broken by falls and rapids. The bold and rock-bound 
coast is indented with bays and countless fiords, forming many 
harbors -where whole fleets could ride in safety. 

With such a wide extent in latitude there of course exists a 
corresponding range in climate. In Hakodade, according to 
the observations of Dr. Albrecht, the mean annual temperature 
(from an average of the four years 1859-62) is 48-'''' degi-ees in 
1862, the minimum being, in January, 10 degrees F., and the max. 
imum, in August, 8T-' degrees. The fall of rain in 1862 was 47 
inches ; the maximum fall in one month being ten inches, in July. 

Notwithstanding its insular position, the mean annual tem- 

CHAP. vn.J rOKOSAMA. 87 

perature of Japan, in common with that of all eastern Asia, is bc- 
low that of corresponding points on the eastern coast of America, 
which. IS at least ]iartiaUy explained, by the fact that the pre- 
vailing winter winds are from the west, blowing from the cold 
steppes of Tartary. 

A marked diBference is said by the Japanese to exist between 
the climates of the eastern and western coasts of Nipon, the lat- 
ter being much colder and receiving a greater fall of snow than 
the former. The eastern coast, as far as the northern part of 
Nipon, is washed by the Kurosiwo, which, branching off from the 
equatorial current in the tropics, flows as a broad belt of warm 
water to the northeast, the counterpart in the Pacific ocean of the 
Atlantic gulf-stream. On the other hand, in the Japan Sea 
there seems to be a cold current, setting south from the Sea of 
Ochotsk. A branch from this reaches eastward, through the 
Straits of Tsungara, passing Hakodade with a velocity of four or 
five miles per hour . On a voyage in H.I.R.M. Steamer Bogartyr, 
from Hakodade to Nagasaki, through the Japan Sea, it was found 
that the current set us every day thirty to forty miles south of 
the position indicated by dead reckoning. 

At the change in the monsoons, especially in September, the 
coast is visited by fearful hurricanes, called typhoons, carrying 
destruction in their track. Although these cyclones are felt in 
the waters of Yesso, their centres follow the curve of the warm 
Kurosiwo, which does not wash the shores of that island. 

Abounding in forests from the extreme south to the northern- 
most islands, Japan is exceedingly rich in the variety of its trees. 
The moisture of an insular climate, together with the fertility of 
soils fonned by the decay of volcanic rocks, produce an exuber- 
ant vegetation in every latitude of the emph-e. On the highlands 
of Nipon the prevailing forms are European. The valleys of 
southern Nipon and the forests of Kiusiu contain many tropical 
plants, while the investigations, especially of Gray and Maximo- 
witch, have shown that the flora of Yesso is generically almost 
identical with that of the northeastern United States. 

The animal kingdom does not seem to be so well represented 
as one might expect, when we consider that the islands must 
have communicated with the continent at some period since the 
appearance in Asia of the animals now living wild in the Jap- 

88 ACROSS AMERICA ANB ASIA. [chap. tii. 

anese mountains. The list of wild quadrupeds known to foreign 
naturalists, seems to be confined to the hare, deer, antelope, bear, 
wild hog, red and black fox, badger, otter, mole, marten, and 

" The aniitaals of Japan have a strong analogy with those of 
Europe ; many are identical, or slightly varied, as the badgerj 
otter, mole, common fox, marten, and squirrel. On the other 
hand, a large species of bear in the island of Yesso resembles 
the grizzly bear in the Rocky Mountains of North America. A 
chamois in other parts of Japan is nearly allied to the Antelope 
montana of the same mountains; and other animals, natives of 
Japan, are the same with those in Sumatra ; so that its fauna is a 
combination of those of very distant regions." * 

The list of domesticated animals is very small, and confined to 
the oxen necessary in agriculture, horses, two kinds of dogs, the 
small pug-nosed variety like the King Charles, and the wolfish 
Tartar variety, with erect ears and bristling hair. Besides the 
common house-cat, with a long tail, thei-e is a variety having by 
nature either no tail, or one an inch or two long, and ending with 
a knot. The sheep, goat, and ass, seem to be unknown through- 
out the group. 

The number of islands composing the Japanese empire is 
variously estimated at from 1,000 to 3,800, and the aggregate 
area at 1T0,000 square miles; Nipon, 900 miles long by about 100 
miles broad, containing about 95,000 square miles; Kiusiu about 
16,000, Sikok about 10,000, and Yesso about 30,000. 

The population of Japan is generally placed at between thirty 
and forty millions. All estimates for the present must be merely 
arbitrary, as, although the population is probably known to the 
Government, it has never been ascertained by foreigners ; and we 
are yet too ignorant of the extent of cultivable land on Nipon 
and Kiusiu, and, indeed, of all the other data necessary to form 
a rough estimate. The Japanese, not being a meat-eating people^ 
are able to cultivate land which with us would'be devoted to 
pasture. In no other country does so large a portion of the po]> 
ulation support itself and supply the interiQ?_with the product s 
of the sea. These, ranging from sea-weed to marine mammals, 
contribut e perha,pras" large ly to the subsistence of the nation a s 

* Mrs. Somorville's " Physical Geogi-aphy," p. 457. Murray, London, 1858. 

CHAP, vn.] YOKOHAMA.. 89 

do the products oF_the land . Both these facts form important 
elements in estimating the ability of the country to support life ; 
they might seem to favor the supposition, other things being 
equal, of a larger population to the square mile than we find in 
Europe. But the feudal state of the empire, together with the 
mountainous character of the islands, both of them conditions 
opposed to expansion ; the laws requiring the maintenance o f a 
fixed forest area , which have a tendency to restrict increase ; 
and the system of licensed prostitution without med ical control, 
which, by producing barrenness among a large number 'of women, 
and spreading disease through all classes, acts both directly 
and indirectly against increase ; all these and some other facts 
seem ^o weigh against the arguments for an overflowing popu- 

There is a strong reason for believing that the population of 
Nipon and Kiusiu is far below the maximum which those coun- 
tries and their coasts can support. This is found in the fact that 
Tesso, separated from Nipon by only a strait fourteen miles 
broad, and having an area of 30,000 square miles, and a climate 
like that of Illinois and New England, with a more fertile soil 
than in the latter, has no population beyond fishing villages on 
the coast, and a few scattered aborigines in the interior. 

Japanese literature, so far as known to us, gives no clue to the 
origin of the people. The native chronologies and histoi'ies rep- 
resent the inhabitants of the islands as sjsrung from a race of 
gods through demi-gods, who, during more than a million years, 
occupied Japan. The authentic dates of their history begin 
about 670 B.C., and the apparent absence of traditions relating to 
a foreign origin would seem to indicate that the time of their ar- 
rival was very remote indeed. 

At present the empire is inhabited by two distinct races, the 
Japanese and the Aino. The latter people, exclusively hunters 
and fishermen, and now found only in parts of Yesso, Sagalicn, 
and the Kurile islands, as late as the sixth century occupied a 
large part of northern Nipon, whence they were dislodged. 
After a long series of bloody wars on Yesso they were brought 
to complete subjection in the twelfth century, by Yoshitzune, 
brother of Yoritomo, the first Siogun. The Ainos probably 
inhabited a large part if not all of the present empire before 

90 ■ AGBOSS AMEEICA AND ASIA. [chap. vr. 

the arrival of the Japanese. It is impossible to suppose that the 
Ainos, with their dark skins, heavy-flowing beards and haiiy 
bodies, should be the parent stock of the Japanese, who differ 
from them as much as they do from the Caucasian. If there 
was ever any considerable admixture of the two peoples, the 
traces of Aino blood seem to have entirely disappeared. 

By some writers the Japanese have been derived from the 
Mongol family, while others see in them proof of a Malay origin 
Grammatical analogies in language, and some points of resem- 
blance physically, point to a relationship with the Mongol family. 
It is not impossible that the wide-spread Malay and Mongol 
races may have met in southern Japan, and in their union pro- 
duced the present population, in the character of which many of 
the distinguishing features of both are combined. We cannot 
hope for even a proximate solution of the ethnological questions 
of eastern Asia until the data shall be supplied by a more 
thorough knowledge of the languages, early religions, myths and 
popular traditions than we yet possess. 

, The first fixed date in Japanese chi-onology seems to be 667. 
B.C. In that year the Mikado Jinmu made an expedition from 
Yamato against Kiusiu, In 663 B.C. a great battle was fought 
in Hiunga (Kiusiu) between Jiumxt and Osatehico, and the fol- 
lowing year found all Nipon and Kiusiu subject to Jinmu, who 
founded the throne of the Mikados. In the person of the Mikado 
he vested the ofiice of high priest, representative of heaven, and 
emperor. He is represented as civilizing the nation, reforming 
the existing laws and government, and dividing time into months 
and years. Jinmu, to whom is given the title ten-no of heaven, 
may have been a foreigner who introduced an alien civilization, or 
to him may have been ascribed the founding of arts which existed 
previously. The succeeding Mikados conferred the command of 
the army upon near relatives or members of high families. 

Little is recorded beyond the names of Emperors and Em- 
presses, the occurrence of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and 
astronomical and meteorological phenomena, until the accession of 
Su-jin-tenno, B.C. 97. This Emperor built a Sintu temple in Isse, 
created four generalissimos Sioguns) for the east, west, north, 
and south, ordered the first census of Nipon and Kiusiu, levied 
taxes to build large ships, and ordered the draining of lakes for 


irrigation. Under his reign, Corea, divided into the kingdoms of 
Hakusai, Shinra, and Nin, is mentioned for the first time. 

Undur the next Mikado, Bui-nin-tenno, A.D. 6, tlie terrible cus- 
tom was abolislied which required that, on the death of the Em- 
peror, the Empress and all the retinue of near attendants should 
commit suicide by hara-kiru. 

At the death of the Empress, the highest of her ladies killed 
themselves by cutting their throats. This also was abolished 
on the death of Hiwassu-hime, Empress of Sui-nin-tenno, earthen 
imaaes beins: substituted for the ladies of rank. 

Suinin ordered the forming of ponds and canals for irrigation, 
and more than 800 were built in different parts of Japan. 

The next Emperor, Keko-tenno, A.D. 71 to 130, after quelling 
obstinate rebellions in Kiusiu and northeastern Nipon, com- 
manded the arable lands of the empire to be surveyed, and 
granaries to be built in all the towns, to guard against famine 
— a proceeding which would seem to indicate a large population. 
Sen-mu-tenno, A.D. 131 to 190, created the office of Daijin, the 
second dignity in the realm. 

His successor Chin-ai-tenno, A.D. 192 to 200, dying of chagrin, 
caused by being defeated in an expedition which he had under- 
taken in person against Kumaoso, prince of Tskuslii, he is suc- 
ceeded by his widow. Jingo Kongo, A.D. 201 to 269. This female 
Mikado, v/ho seems to have had a brilliant reign, at the begin- 
ning of her rule commanded in person an expedition to Shinra, 
in Corea, in which she conquered that kingdom. After three 
years of widowhood she gave birth to a son who was destined to 
become the most renowned of the Mikados. After her death. 
Jingo Kongo was ranked among the gods of the empire, and 
her life and deeds are "widely commemorated in the popular liter- 
ature and drama of the country. 

Her son ascended the throne under the name of Ojin-tenno, 
A.D. 270 to 310. In the second year of his reign the islands of 
Yesso (Yesso and Sagalien) submitted voluntarily to the Jap- 
anese rule ; thus the boundaries of the empire seem to have been 
at that time the same as at present, while the three kingdoms of 
Corea were also tributary. In A.D. 283 a woman was brought 
from Hakiisai (Corea) to teach the art of sewing (working in ?) 
silk. In the following year an improved breed of horses was 


brought over from the same country. In A.D. 285^ W ani, a 
philosopher, i ntroduced the works of Confucias and the Senji- 
man ("thousand character book"). This last was one of the 
most important events in the history of the country, as the works 
of Confucius have und oubtedly had much to do with moulding 
the philosophy of Japan, and the "thousand character book" 
still forms the basis of primary education in the Chinese written 
language. The first musical instrument made in Japan, the koto 
of to-day, is said to have been formed in A.D. 300, from the wood 
of an old man-of-war. 

In A.D. 306 Ojin-tenno . sent an embassy to the Go country 
(Nanking ?) in China to import into Japan the means of produc- 
ing and manufacturing silk. 

It is related of this Mikado, that having been advised by the 
brother of his prime minister that the latter was conspiring 
against the throne, he caused them both to plung-e their arms 
into boiling water, when, the ordeal proving favora,ble to the min- 
ister, the informer was executed. 

Ojin-tenno, after his death, became god of war, and his reign is 
looked upon with national pride, /i^^ ^ (, ,iyi^^;> 

Under Jintoku-tenno, A.D. 313 to 399, extensive inundations 
led to the construction of dykes along the rivers ; and ice-houses 
and mills for cleaning rice were for the first time built. 

In A.D. 367 Tamits was sent to crush a rebellion in Yesso. 

Liehu-tenno, A.D. 400 to 405, appointed two scholars to writ^ 
the history of the empire. 

Under Yuriyaku-tenno, A.D. 457 to 479, mulberry trees were 
planted throughout the empire. 

In A.D. 488 skilful carpenters were induced to immigrate 
from Corea. 

In A.D. 609 the Coreans, who had begun to settle in Japan, 
were sent back to Corea by Government. Three years later an 
embassy was dispatched to Hakusai (Corea) to collect the Chi- 
nese classical literature. 

Buddism entered Japan about the middle of the sixth century, 
apparently from Corea. With it came the zealous missionaries, 
who soon succeeded in spreading their faith. Toward the end 
of the eighth century the empire was invaded by foreigners 
" who were not Chinese, but natives of some more distant land," 


who, being continually re-enforced, were not finally repulsed till 
eighteen years after their arrival. These people have been i-e- 
ferred by some to the Malays, and by others to the inhabitants 
of Siberia or of Kamschatka. 

The reign of the Emperor Itsisio, 987 to 1012, was marked by 
two terrible epidemics or plagues. An important rebellion in 
Oshiou, the northernmost province of Nipon, has rendered the 
reign of Go-rei-sen famous. 

Down to the end of the twelfth century Japanese history clus- 
ters around the person and deeds of the Mikados. The outline 
given above is mainly a direct translation from a native manual 
of chronology, and gives the most important features alluded to 
in that book. The names, dates of birth, accession and death of 
the Mikados, and dates of great earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, 
embassies to and from China and Corea, together with rebel- 
lions, make up a meager thread of historical occurrences. It is 
mainly interesting as showing the gradual introduction of some 
of the most important elements of civilization from Corea and 
China, whence probably nearly all of the arts were derived, to be 
subsequently improved upon. 

Down to this period the executive power centred in the Mi- 
kado. Descended from a long line of sovereigns of one family, 
the representative of heaven, and himself a deity of high rank, in 
him centred also the glory and veneration of the nation. The 
character of the Mikado's office is one of the most remarkable 
features in the organization of Japan. He i s one of the best con- 
ceived types of the Vicar of Heaven, to whom all religious and 
temporal power is delegated. It is probable that the idea was 
jeiived from China. But it would seem that this type of rule r, 
of which the Pope of Rome is the latest expression, is of great 
antiquity; and not only does it now exist in^the_J IikadOjJ}he 
Emperor of China, and the Dalai Lama of Thibet, but, at the 
time of the conquests, this idea was perhaps even more fully car^ 
ried out in the Inca of Peru. 

Too holy to be seen by other than the very highest of his at- 
tendants, the Sun, although himself a deity, not worthy of shin- 
ing on his head, the Mikado may not touch the ground with 
his feet, nor even cut his nails and hair, so sacred is his body. 
This last duty is performed while he sleeps, and being considered 

94 A0I10S8 AMEBIOA AND ASIA. [chap. tii. 

a theft of these parts, the loss is not supposed to detract from 
his sanctity. It is said that the pots in which the food of the 
Mikado is cooked, and the dishes from which he eats, are used 
hut once and then destroyed, lest they should fall into the hands 
of some one else on whom the use of them would bring serious 

Toward the end of the twelfth century, during a period of 
civil commotion, when the princes had begun to grow remiss in 
their allegiance, Yoritomo, a prince of the imperial blood, was 
entrusted with extraordinary power as generalissimo. Being a 
man of great ability and ambition, he not only usurped nearly 
all secular power, but succeeded in transmitting it to his suc- 

This act gave the death-blow to the real sovereignty of the 
Mikado. The nominal power, and all the honors and reverence 
due to him as Son of Heaven and Emperor, remained, indeed, 
and his sanction was considered necessary to all measures of 
great importance; but the executive p assed into the hands o f 
the Siogun, who, while ruling almost absolutely, has never 
claimed a higher nominal rank than the fourth deputy in the 
realm. The Mikado thus became a mere shadow — a tool, alter- 
nately in the hands of the Siogun, the Council of Daimios, or of 
contending factions, often an important instrument, but a tool 
still. Unable to endure the seclusion and tedium inseparable 
from their rank, many Emperors have abdicated in favor of their 
sons — sometimes successively in favor of several children — both 
in order to relieve themselves from the monotonous life, and to 
give the mothers the pleasure of seeing their children seated on 
the throne. The dignity has been held repeatedly by women — 
the widows or daughters of the preceding Mikados. 

One would think that the allowance of twelve wives to the 
Emperor would secure a direct succession ; but a large part of the 
Mikados have been cousins or nephews of their predecessors, the 
nearest of kin, whether male or female, being chosen. 

Many of the Mikados have devoted their lives to literature, and 
Miako has become the centre of learning for the empire, while 
the spirit of war and military science find their home at Yeddo. 

During the taikoonate of Yoritomo a long-continued rebellion 
on the islands of Yesso was crushed by Yoshitzunc, the brother 


of Yovitomo. Yoshitzune, having been disgraced, is said to have 
travelled into northern Yesso (Sagalien), whence he crossed to 
the continent, where the Japanese claim that he reappeared as 
Gengis Khan. After the death of Yoritomo his widow entered a 
convent, but soon returning, ruled during the minority of her son 
till her death, with all the power, political and military, belong- 
ing to the rank of Siogun. 

From the middle to the end of the thirteenth century the atten- 
tion of the empire was anxiously turned to the movements of the 
Mongols under Kublai Khan. The great wave of revolution" 
which, sweeping over the length and breadth of Asia, subjected 
the great continent as far as Germany to the rule of one family, 
threatened to overwhelm Japan — the outpost of Asia on the Pa- 
cific — at the same time that it menaced the foundations of the 
terrified nations of Europe, a^j <in^^^^^J ■:k.k^^>--rfkxj'">--i ■■ i^aT 

Two powerful expeditions, worthy of the might and pride .of 
the terrible Khan, were sent against Japan, but each time a brave 
resistance, aided by the stormy sea and rock-bound coast of the 
empire, proved its salvation, and the invaders met the fate of the 
fleet of Xerxes and the Spanish Armada. To another and more 
peaceful expedition, sailing two centuries later from the opposite 
extremity of the great continent, and having Japan for its desti- 
nation, we owe the discovery of America. Incited by Marco 
Polo's account of Zipanga, given from information received at 
the court of Kublai, Columbus, believing in the spherical form of 
the earth, hoped to reach these islands or the Indies by sailing 

Kublai Khan, in his letter to the Japanese emperor demanding 
his submission, asserted that it was already the hope of philoso- 
phers to see all mankind united in one family, and declared. his 
intention to accomplish this result by force of arms if necessary. 
The great Mongol conqueror tried the virtue of armed force in 
making Japan conform to this one-family programme, and failed in- 
gloriously. Three centuries later, Europe applied, for a less exalted 
end, the more insinuating wedge of Jesuit proselytism, and, fail- 
ing signally, was cast out after having^btained a strong foothold. 
Again, three centuries later, America, who. owed her discovery in- 
directly to the correspondence between Kublai Khan and the 
Mikado, reviving the application of the " one family" idea to Japan, 

96 ACROSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. vii. 

has by means of peaceful diplomacy paved the way for bringing 
that empire into the circle of nations. 

During the reign of the Mongol dynasty in China the Japanese 
refused to hold any intercourse with that country; but on the 
accession of the Mings they again opened their ports and per- 
mitted trade to continue, though under a strict surveillance. 

During the middle of the sixteenth century the feuds among 
the great lords of the empire threatened to throw the land into 
anarchy, and a strong arm was needed to restore order and hold 
the balance. This was found in Taikosama, the man who with 
reason is perhaps the most popular personage in their history, and 
who has been called the Napoleon of Japain. Beginning as a 
servant in the palace, and as a common soldier, he attracted the 
attention of the Siogun, who promoted him rapidly till in time 
he won the highest military rank. On the death of his master, 
Nabunanga, in 1585, Taikosama assumed the taikoonate, and taking 
the higher title of Koboe, which has been translated " lay Em- 
peror," he soon usurped the little secular power that had till then 
been left to the Mikado. He must certainly have been a man of 
great ability, for the task he had to perform was one of the most 
difficult character. The fierce contest between the princes, and 
the danger of invasion by the armies of the King of Portugal, who 
had gained myriads of allies in the christianized Japanese, required 
both the breaking of the power of the feudal lords and the exter- 
mination of a religion which threatened the independence of the 

K we may judge the means lie employed to this end by the 
internal peace which seems to have reigned since his time, they 
must have been well conceived. Almost his first step was a war 
againt Corea, in which he engaged the most troublesome princes, 
many of whom never returned. His greatest stroke was, per- 
haps, the subdividing of each of the few principalities into se- 
veral, thus weakening the power of individual princes by in- 
creasing their number. 

Nearly forty years before the accession of Taikosama, the 
Jesuit missionaries under Xavier, the disciple and friend of 
Loyola, had obtained a foothold in Japan, and had begun a bril- 
liant career of proselyting. Had this work remained in the hands 
of that order, Japan would probably have become a Christian 

CHAP, vn.] YOKOHAMA. 97 

country. Unfortunately for that result, there poured into the new 
field an army of Franciscan, Dominican and other friars, who 
soon quarrelled with the Jesuits and among themselves. Con- 
verts were made by thousands ; among them were princes of 
the highest rank, while Nabunanga, the predecessor of Taiiiosama, 
was counted as a warm friend of the cause. 

In their unbridled zeal, this army of the church, carried away 
by almost unprecedented success, began a persecution of the ex- 
isting religions at the same time that they transferred the alle- 
giance of their converts from their rightful rulers to the Pope, 
and plotted for the subjection of the empire to the King of 
Portugal. So sure did they feel of their position that they not 
only gained the enmity of the powerful priesthood at Miako, by 
their wholesale destruction of temples, and the indignities offered 
to the bonzes, but they insolently refused to the great lords of 
the empire even the respect shown by one daimio toward 
another. ' 

Already in the second year of his reign, 1587, Taikosama found 
it necessary to issue an edict banishing the missionaries. But 
though opposed on political grounds to the new religion, he 
abstained from violent persecution. Before his death Taiko 
caused his son six years old to be married to the grand-daughter of 
his most intimate friend. To this same friend he entrusted the 
regency. This man proved faithless to the trust, and, usurping the 
taikoonate, took the name of Gongensama. Under him the 
policy of Taiko was continued. The Christians, foreign and na- 
tive, feeling sure of their ground, openly defied the Government, 
and in so doing brought upon themselves a terrible persecution. 
Finally, when it was discovered that an extensive conspiracy ex- 
isted to transfer the countiy to the rule of Portugal", a decree or- 
dered that the " whole race of the Portugese, with their mothers, 
nurses, and whatever belongs to them, shall be banished for ever." 

In 1639 the Portugese were totally expelled, and their profita- 
ble trade passed into the hands of the Protestant Dutch. The 
year 1640 saw the last great struggle. In the province of Simaba- 
ra near Nagasaki, a large number of Christians arose in insurrec- 
tion and seizing a fortified position, bi-avely defended themselves 
against the Government until the place was taken with the assist- 
ance of the Dutch. The entire besieged population, men, wo- 


men, and children, were destroyed, preferring death to life bought 
at the cost of recanting. The law of Gongensama is still unre- 
pealed ; it prohibits any foreigner, under pain of death, from set- 
ting foot on Japanese soil, and renders it lawful for any subject 
to kill any one of the hated race. 

In return for the shameful assistance given by them in this 
massacre, the Dutch, thenceforth despised by the Japanese, were 
indeed allowed to monopolize the foreign trade, though only un- 
der great restrictions and indignities. 

From that period till 1854 Japan has preserved an entire se- 
clusion from the outer world, no native being allowed to leave 
the country, and, excepting the Dutch imprisoned at Decima, no 
foreigner to enter it. 

Repeated efforts made by England and Russia, with a view to 
■establish friendly intercourse, have met vrith failure, and, in the in- 
stance of Golownin,with the imprisonment of the envoy. During, 
two centuries Europeans were looked upon only as the descendants 
of those who brought so much misery into the empire, and who 
nearly succeeded in destroying its independence. But most of all 
is our religion hated, not because of its dootripes, but because 
the Government looks upon it still as being the great political 
lever it certainly was two centuries ago. Nor are their fears of 
the missionaries altogether unfounded. The penalty of death im- 
posed on all Japanese who listen in any manner to instruction in 
Christian doctrines, is a barrier which not only the Romish but 
many Protestant missionaries would gladly see removed by the 
sword, were there no other cause for war. 

During this long period of seclusion the Japanese obtained, 
through the Dutch, information concerning the condition of Eu- 
rope, and during the past fifty ye ars an increasing number of stu - 
dents have devoted'TEemselves to the study of theoretical and 
j£plied sc ience, in Dutch works and translations. Thus a party 
of some strength, including even daimios, would have been glad 
of intercourse with the outside world, for the sake of the benefits 
to be derived from it, had it not been for the fear of serious polit- 
ical consequences. 

The existence of this party; may have facilitated the negotia - 
tions of Commodore Perry in 1853^4. The treaty then con- 
cluded gained for American ships the right to obtain supplies and to 


trade under restrictions at Simoda and Hakodade, whei-e consuls 
were allowed to reside. Soon after this England obtained similar 
privileges at Hakodade and Nagasaki, as did also the Russians, 
Avhile the Dutch received greater freedom at Decima. In 1857 Mr. 
Townsend Harris negotiated for American vessels the right to enter 
the port of Nagasaki In 1858 Mr. Harris succeeded in reaching 
Yeddo, and during the first half of that year, unsupported by armed 
force, he gained after a long struggle a diplomatic triumph, which 
places him on a level with the most famous European diplomat- 
ists in the East. A few weeks later the Earl of Elgin arrived 
and concluded a new treaty. By the treaties with America and 
England the ports of Kanagawa, Hakodade, and Nagasaki were 
opened to trade with those countries after July 1st, 1859. Negate, 
or some other port on the west coast of Nipon, after January 1st, 
1860, and Hiogo, the port of Osaca, after January 1st, 1863. Sub- 
sequent treaties with France, Holland, Prussia, and Switzerland, 
have opened these ports to subjects of those countries. 

These treaties grant the right of residence at Yeddo, and of 
travelling freely through the empire to the diplomatic agents of 
the treaty powers, and to the subjects of those powers the right 
to lease ground at the open ports, to build, trade, practice freely 
then- respective religions, and enter the country to the distance 
generally of ten ri, or twenty-five English miles. 

Nearly a month had passed after ovir arrival in Japan before 
we heard directly from the Government. Mr. Harris had written 
to us that they were for some reason ojaposed to our visiting 
Yeddo. We found it impossible to account for the delay of the 
Government in assigning to us our duties, the more so that they 
were, from the time of our departure from America, paying at 
the rate of a viceroy's salary. 

It seems that an unforeseen trouble had arisen in the minds of 
the authorities concerning the social position we were to occupy. 
In a country where rank, from the god-Mikado to the lowest tide- 
waiter, tapers off in an unbroken perspective of princes and offi- 
cials on one side, and spies of equal rank on the other, this ques- 
tion had necessarily to be settled before the first interview, by the 
etiquette of which our relative positions would be assigned. "Were 
minino- engineers and geologists mechanics, or were they officials? 
and if so, what position did they hold in the civil or military 

100 AVMOSS AMERIOA AND ASIA. [chap. tii. 

scale in the United States ? In despair, the question was finally- 
submitted to Mr. Harris, who very diplomatically and considerately 
told them that were Commodore Perry (whom they knew) and our- 
selves at his house, he would treat us with the same consideration 
that he would the Commodore. 

This settled the question, and we received a notification that 
the future Governor of Yesso would come from Yeddb to call 
upon us. On the appointed day an officer arrii^ed to announce 
the coming of the Governor, and soon after the loud jingling of 
the iron staff and rings of the street-warden gave notice of his 
ajjproach. He came with a large retinue of officers, all of whom, 
excepting his immediate attendants, remained outside. The Gov- 
ernor Kadzu-ya-Chikungono-kami, and his Ometzki, with three or 
four officers, seated themselves according to rank, with several 
scribes behind them on one side of the room, while we took seats 
opposite them, the Governor's interpreter being in the middle. 

The Governor hoped we had recovered from the fatigue of our 
long journey ; he had been told that we had met with head winds, 
and had made a stormy voyage. It was very kind in us to come so 
far to give the Japanese instruction in mining. 

"We replied that we had had a very rough voyage of ninety 
days, but that the interest we had found in everything we saw in 
his delightful country had quite restored us. "Wo anticipated 
much pleasure in doing what we could in the field to which the 
Japanese Government had called us ; we felt highly honored by 
the appointment. 

Several servants now entered and placed in a row two light 
and gracefully-woven baskets of oranges, and two boxes, each con. 
taining about two hundred eggs. After asking us to receive 
" these trifling presents" and receiving our thanks, the Governor 
introduced business, by enquiring whether on approaching the 
coast of Nipon we had been able to judge by the color of the sea 
or the taste of the water or fish, or by any other means, of the 
wealth or poverty of Japan in metals. He seemed a little sur- 
prised at our negative answer. This was the first of a long series 
of similar questions I had to answer in interviews with Japanese 
officials, and the Board of Foreign Affairs at Pekin ; they showed 
that these people, who have for thousands of years sought the 
philosopher's stone and the elixir of life, suppose that the scien- 

CHAP, vii.] YOKOmLVA. 101 

tists of the west possess ii key to open a royal road through the 
secrets of nature. 

After informing ns that tlie Government had sent for a steamer 
to take us to Yesso, the Governor asked whether either of ns 
had visited the mining districts of Europe. When told that I 
had made them the subject of several years' study, he was much 
interested, and asked many questions concerning the mines, and 
the manner of working them. 

Kadzu-ya-Chikungono-kami, with whom we Averc to have a great 
deal of intercourse on Yesso, was the type of a Japanese gentle- 
man. He had a handsome face, with a fair complexion, and an ex- 
ceedingly kind expression, which always reminded me, as did in- 
deed his manner and appearance generally, of Pius IX. as he was 
twelve or fourteen years ago. In addition to this he had the modest 
and easy manner which marks the man of social culture in all 
countries, and especially in Japan. 

The next morning the Governor returned, by appointment, to ex- 
amine the instruments, etc., forming our outfit; during several 
hours he w.andered among theodolites, levels, chronometers, sex- 
tants, barometers, etc., asking an explanation of each object, and ex- 
pressing the wish that he might be able to give time to the sturdy of 
science. During this interview, as in that of the previous day, every 
word said was written down by the attendant scribes, while some of 
the officers amused themselves by sketching the no^-el display. The 
same day we received a call from one of the earlier embassadors 
to America, accompanied by a former Governor of Yesso. The 
first spoke much of his visit to the United States, and of the plea- 
sure it had given him. 

Having learned that it would probably be several weeks before 
we would be sent to Yesso, we determined to see something of 
the surrounding country, and naturally planned our first excur- 
sion so as to include the nearest mountains, the Oyama, on the 
edo-e of the treaty limits. Accompanied by Mr. Frank Hall and 
Mr. Robertson, with our Japanese servants and bettos, or run- 
ning footmen, we made an early start from Yokohama. 

Crossing a broad marsh hy the costly causeway which the 
Government had built to render Yokohama accessible to Kana- 
gawa, we passed through the latter town and were soon in the 
country. Our bettos led the way on foot, acting as guides, and 


running at the rate of a four and a half or five mile trot. These 
grooms deserve a passing description. They are a luxury per- 
mitted only to ofiicers, whose horses they generally lead by the 
bit on all formal occasions, for the Japanese ofiicial rides fast 
only when on important business, or when in the absence of spec- 
tators a fast trot or canter may be indulged in without loss of 
dignity. Foreigners have adopted the custom, much to the 
astonishment of the Japanese, who look with wonder on a Euro- 
pean merchant riding in a saddle and keeping running footmQn, 
both of which luxuries are forbidden to any native not graced 
with two swords. 

As we kept up a brisk trot wherever the road permitted it, our 
Dettos gradually relieved themselves of the little clothing they 
nad worn at the outset, and they now appeared in a costume 
\vorthy of a N'ew Zealand chief. They were tattooed from head 
to foot, and there seemed to be as much livalry among them as 
to whose back should present the most varied picture, as there 
was in out-doing each other in swiftness of foot. My betto, who 
was one of the fastest runners, was covered with an elaborate 
representation, in bright red and blue, of a lady and a dragon, the 
head of the latter peering forward over the right shoulder, while 
the body of the monster, extending down the man's muscular 
back, wound its tail around the left leg and foot. 

The country we were travelling through was part of the low 
table-land extending from the bay of Yeddo to the Oyama moun- 
tains, but was less cut up by ravines than along the route to 
Kamakura, and there was consequently little rice culture. For 
several miles a large part of the surface was. occupied, by a young 
forest growth, with fields- devoted to the cultivation of rape seed, 
wheat, buckwheat, etc. Soon we came into a more populous dis- 
trict and through small villages, with substantial farm buildings 
and fire-proof storehouses. Through these places we rode at the 
head of an amused crowd, whose size was limited only by the 
extent of the population. 

Large numbers of mulberry trees now showed that we were 
entering the silk district of Hachiogi. The country was divided 
into small fields, by rows of these trees crossing each other at 
right angles, leaving the squares thus enclosed open for the culti- 
vation of grain. They are planted a few yards apart, having the 

CHAP. Yii.] YOKOHAMA. 103 

trunks cut off at a height of from one to five feet from the 
ground. This dwarfing process not only hinders them from shad- 
ing the adjoining grain, but is said to improve the quality of the 

Occasionally a well-huilt stone wall, enclosing extensive and 
wooded grounds, and broken by an imposing gateway, showed 
that we were passing the home of some man of more than ordin- 
ary rank. In building walls the Japanese show a great deal of 
both taste and skill, although the masonry is among them con- 
fined almost exclusively to substructures, gateways, and tombs. 
Indeed, the prevalence of earthquakes prohibits the use of cither 
stone or bricks for houses. Where a suitable rock can be ob- 
tained, walls are constructed of large and well-dressed blocks, 
neatly laid together without mortar ; but where the country fur- 
nishes only rubble or stone of irregular shape, they are used with 
mortar in such a manner that while the stones nearly touch each 
other, the white cement seems to occupy the greater part of the 
surface and produces a very beautiful effect. In building sea 
walls of dry masonry, large blocks of lava cut into truncated 
four-sided pyramids are used. 

The fences surrounding farm-houses are always exceedingly 
neat; sometimes they are well-kept hedges of living bamboo, 
but more generally they are formed of interwoven bamboo and 

Toward evening we reached Hachiogi, a large town, and 
stopped at the best looking inn, where we were shown to a large 
room on the second floor. As foreigners generally insist on 
wea ring theii' boots on the delicate Japanese mats, it is difficul t 
for^ them to gain admission to any ho use where the proprietor 
has once had his floors disfigured, and when admitted they usu- 
ally rec eive the poorest rooms. W hile we were eating,"arid~till 
late in the evening, we were surrounded by more people than 
we could have wished for. As I was about to pass my first night 
in a Japanese house, I watched anxiously the preparations for 
sleeping. These were simple enough : a mattrass in the form of 
a very thick quilt, about seven feet long by four wide, was spread 
on the floor; and over it was laid an ample robe, very long, and 
heavily padded, and provided with large sleeves. Having put 
on this night-dress, the sleeper covers himself with another quilt, 

104 ACROSS AMEBIGA AND ASIA. [chap. tii. 

and sleeps, i. e., if he has had some years' practice in the use of 
this hed. 

Butjthejnost remarkahlefeature about a Japanese bed is the 
pillow. This is a wooden box about four inches high, eight 
inches long, and two inches wide at the top. It has a cushio n 
of folded pap e rs on the upper side to rest the neck o n, for the 
elaborate manner of dressing, the hair does not permit the Japa- 
nese, especially the women, to press the head on a pillow. Every 
mornin g the uppermost paper is taken off, from the cushion, ex - 
posing a clean surface with out the expense of washing a pillow- 

I passed the greater part of the night in learning how to poise 
my head in this novel manner ; and when I finally closed my eyes, 
it was to dream that I was being slowly beheaded, and, to awake 
at the crisis to find the pillow bottom-side up, and my neck resting 
on the sharp lower edge of the box. During my stay in the 
country I learned many of its customs, mastering the use of 
chop-sticks, and accustoming my pal ate to raw fresh fish , but the 
attempt to balance my head on a two-inch pillow I gave up in 
despair, after trying in vain to secure the box by tying it to my 
neck and head. 

Early the following morning we strolled through the town, 
looking in at many of the shops. In these we saw none of the 
choice lacquer ware and porcelain which are sold at the ports 
visited by foreigners. There were few articles of luxury, but 
mostly the objects of necessary consumption, as grain, vegetables, 
dried fish, sea weed, native cotton and silk stuffs, copper, iron 
and earthen-Avare, and common china, and lacquer work. A sign 
exposed in front of an apothecary's bore in gilded Roman letters 
" Van Hitter's Medicines," and looked to us much as the chai'- 
acters on the sign of a New York tea-store must appear to a 

On our I'eturn to the inn, a man brought a card covered with 
eggs of the silk-worm : it was about ten inches by fourteen, and 
contained, according to the owner, 80,000 eggs ; the price was 
one dollar. Our hotel bill for four persons, four horses, and five 
servants, was five and a half dollars. As we rode out of the 
town the streets filled rapidly with a crowd, which grew larger 
and larger as we proceeded. 


Every house tuniecT out its quota, every cross-street poured in 
its thousands, until a surging sea of heads filled the street be- 
hind us. "Tojin! Tojin!" (Chinaman! Chinaman !) greeted us 
on all sides, till we were almost deafened. If one of us stopped 
and wheeled round, the efiect was laughable : the whole crowd, 
now as eager to run away as they had been to follow us, turned, 
and those behind cried " forward," while those before cried 
" back ; " till we left them tumbling one over the other, all 
laughing, crying, and yelling at the same time. There was no 
intention to insult us, as often happened in the fishing villages 
where men and children would run after us, yelling " bacca ! 
bacca ! " (fool ! fool !) In both Japan and China Jbe farming 
population is the best behaved tow ard f oreign ers. 

After a ride of several miles over a plain which was little culti- 
vated, we descended into a picturesque valley, and soon came to 
a small temple, which looked with the beautiful grounds sur- 
rounding it so inviting that we entered. Two buildings, flanking 
the entrance, contained the usual gate-keepers, colossal images 
with horrible faces, brandishing weapons and standing on impos- 
sible lions. Near the middle of the ojjen space stood a shrine, 
with a beautifully-executed gUded bronze image, about sixteen 
feet high, of Budda standing on the lotus. On one side there 
was a large bronze stork on a tortoise, and on the other a 
graceful vase of the same metal. 

The main building was a Sintu temple. A series of pretty 
water-color paintings, in which dragons, warriors, and mermaids 
predominated, hung on the walls ; there was one image, that of 
an ugly man with a demoniacal face, who we were told by the 
polite priest was the devil. 

A few miles further on, the road entered a small village, where, 
at the inn, the old landlady and several pretty waitresses came 
out and asked us to dismount. Such an unusual reception made 
it evident that no foreigners had visited this j)lace before ; so 
getting down, we reijioved our shoes and entei-ed the neatly mat- 
ted rooms. We were received in the same manner that is usual 
among Japanese : the landlady came first, and getting on her 
marrow-bones and touching the floor with her forehead hoped we 
were well and had had a pleasant journey; theu came a remark, 
ably handsome w&itress who, after much bowing and many polite 


questions, went out for refreshments. First confectionery w 
brought in (for in Japan this precedes everything else), and aft 
that soup, boiled rice, eggs, sea weed, and stewed clams. 

Late in the afternoon we reached the village of Koyasu, bu 
on the hill-side at the foot of the Oyama. As in many mounta 
villages in Japan, the main street went directly up the declivi 
by a series of narrow steps and terraces. Up this difficult roi 
we uro-ed our horses, apparently without attracting anyattentii 
from the inhabitants. To our surprise not a child followed us 
the street, and the few people we passed continued their occup 
tions without looking up. This was something so unusual th 
we were at a loss to understand the reason, till on applying at t 
first inn we were refused entrance, when we concluded that t 
police were at the bottom of the affair. The hostess met us 
the door and informed us that her husband being away at Yedd 
and there being absolutely nothing to eat in the house, and i 
servants, and as the house was being repaired, it would be ii 
possible to receive us, but we would find better accommodatior 
little further up the street ; so we climbed a hundred steps 
more to the next inn. Here the hostess appeared and regretti 
the impossibility of entertaining us : her husband had died th 
day ; but there was a much better place, she said, a little higher v 
Although it was raining furiously, and we were already drench 
to the skin, we rode perseveringly up stairs. Nearly half a m: 
of climbing up the slippery stone steps brought us into the c^ 
ning, but no nearer to a bed ; every inn seemed to have been sii 
denly visited by an afflicting angel, prostrating the proprietor, t 
in one place the gates were rudely shut in our faces and we we 
warned off. To think of riding back ten or fifteen miles in 
rainy night was out of the question, so we determined on retui 
ing to the house where we had first been turned away, and obta 
ing quarters by politeness if possible. 

Inwardly cursing the yaleoninerie (as Sir R. Alcock aptly ca 
' it) of the police, we rode our sure-footed horses down the ha 
mile flight of stairs, to the place where we had made our fi: 
trial. Here resolutely dismounting, we waited, while Mr. Hall, w 
spoke the language well, besieged the hostess. By persuasive ] 
liteness he carried the point, where force would probably hg 
failed, and been followed by serious results. Once in, we W( 


treated well, not only by the hostess, but by the landlord also 
As -we were eating, a sharp shock of an earthquake shook the 
house, which vibrated for some seconds. No one becomes, I be- 
lieve, accustomed to these phenomena ; the uncertainty which 
hangs over all the phases of an earthquake-wave darts through 
the mind of man as well as brutes a ray of terror, which seems 
frequently to precede the first shock. It has often been remarked 
iu connection with the more fearful of historical earthquakes, 
that before a shock has been felt the entire population of a city 
have rushed from their houses at the same instant, as if driven by 
an instinctive impulse. Certainly animals are warned of the ap- 
proaching danger before man feels even a tremor, a fact which 
may be explained by their greater sensitiveness ; and it may be 
that the senses of man, especially in regions where he lives in a 
chronic state of expectation of these convulsions, are open to im- 
pressions so delicate that they affect only the inferior machinery 
of the brain, 

Japan is one of the great centres of earthquake action, and 
the dates of the destructive shocks occupy a considerable portion 
of their chronological records during more than two thousand 
years. An eruption of ,the volcano Asamayama, in Shinano, in 
1783, was accompanied by a fearful loss of life ; thousands of 
people were swallowed up by great chasms which rent the earth, 
and into which they were plunged in escaping from lava, ashes, 
and torrents of boiling water. In 1854 the Russian frigate " Diana " 
witnessed in the harbor of Simoda an earthquake whose centre 
seems to have been submarine. Three immense waves rushing 
in from the sea covered the highest trees, and dashed the native 
shipping to pieces on the inland hilLsides, while in their return 
they scoured out the harbor to its rocky bottom so that it is 
said anchors can no longer find holding ground. The frigate 
was " spun round and round at anchors," and left almost a wreck. 
The waves produced by this shock translating themselves across 
the Pacific ocean, recorded their dimensions on the tide guages 
of California. From the elements, thus afforded, of length of 
wave and time of ti-ansmission, Professor Bache was able to cal 
culate the mean depth of the North Pacific. The same wave 
swept across the China Sea and up the Yangt'z Iviang.* 

* Edkins, in " Year-Book of Facts," 1855. 


Owing to the frequency of these phenomena the houses are 
necessarily built of wood, which causes all great shocks to be fol- 
lowed by fearful conflagrations, and proportionate loss of life. 
Everywhere the traveller meets with the vestiges of these com- 
motions in fallen tombstones and granite columns. In the 
grounds of a temple in the western suburb of Yeddo, I observed 
a large monolith which had been turned nearly 45 degrees on its. 
base, presenting an instance similar to that observed on the obe- 
lisks of a Calabrian convent. This last has been cited to prove 
that there are sometimes gyratory shocks. In both instances it 
is probable that the turning was produced simply by the rock- 
ing motion imparted to stones whose centres of gravity were out 
of the axial line. 

In the morning we set out on foot to climb the mountain. 
The temples near the summit have great celebrity, and are visit- 
ed by many pilgrims. The stone steps are said to extend to the 
highest point. After about half a mile of climbing up the street 
of stairs through the village, an ofiicer joined our party, and 
seemed disposed to make himself agreeable in answering ques- 
tions. A little further on we found ten or twelve ofiicials drawn 
up in a line across the street, near an inn. With a great many 
bows they pointed to the open door, and pressed us to enter and 
take some refreshments. Of course we could not refuse; the lion 
in the path was too strong to be turned by force. 

When we had taken our places on the mats, the officers, seat- 
ing themselves in a semi-circle between us and the door, ordered 
confectionery and tea, which were produced so quickly that it 
was evident they had planned the whole thing beforehand. We 
Boon came to business : we asserting our wish to visit the temples, 
and our right to travel twenty-five miles from the port ; they 
" regretting " that their instructions were to consider Koyasu 
the extreme limit, as it was twenty-five miles by the road. Of 
course we had to yield ; but we effected a compromise by promis- 
ing to return if they would allow lis to visit a neighboring hill to 
see the view. Reluctantly agreeing to this they led the way, 
and we had gone some distance before we found that they were 
taking us back by another road. Determined not to be outdone 
in this manner, we insisted upon seeing the view, and starting 
back over the fields reached a small eminence, where there was 

CiiAP. vn.] TOKOHAATA. 109 

a fine look-out over tlie plains between Wodawaia bay and the 
bay of Yeddo. Expressing ourselves satisfied ^yitla this, -wo 
turned our steps down-hill and entered the main road, where we 
found that a large canvas curtain with the arms of the Tykoou 
had been stretched across the street, and a guard-house erected. 

In descending the steps our attention was drawn toward a 
group of fifteen or more representations of the phallus. They 
were of sandstone, from a few inches to two feet long, and stood 
erect around a central column containing a cavity either intended 
to hold a lantern or an incense-burner. The. phallus enters largely 
into the symbols of the popular religion, if one may judge by the 
great number of representations of it exposed for sale. It would 
be interesting to know whether this is a feature of the older re- 
ligion of Japan, or whether it was introduced into the country from 
India. I believe thei'e is no trace of it in either China or Tartary, 
and the fact that it is incorporated into the Sintu ceremonies 
would seem to show that it existed here before the introduction 
of Buddism. The wide geographical range which this symbol 
occupied in antiquity from the earlier and later mysteries of Greece, 
Rome, Samothrace, and Egypt to India, and as it would seem to 
Central America, renders its discovery in actual nse in a country 
where it co-exists with a very ancient religion exceedingly inter- 

The Takonins sent a spy after us in the person of a man who 
pretended he was going to Yokohama on business, but we soon 
left him behind. In the afternoon we reached a river which could 
be crossed only on a ferry ; a flat-boat was there, but the ferry- 
man refused to take us over, and it was not without some difficulty 
that we succeeded in crossing by ourselves. News of our inva- 
sion had gone before, and at the first town we were met by 
wondering officers and wardens with their jingling staves of iron, 
to whom however we did not give a chance to repeat the hospi- 
talities we had received from their colleagues in the morning at 

Here we entered the tolcaido, the great highway which follows 
the eastern coast from one end of Nipon to the other. There is a 
net-work of these thoroughfares by which the provinces of the coast 
and mountains are connected among themselves and with each other 
respectively. They would be necessary, if only as military roads, 

110 ACB0S8 AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap, vil 

to accommodate the transit of the army which each prince is 
obliged to take with him on his yearly journey to Yeddo. These 
highways, so important from both a military and commercial 
point of view, are part of the imperial domain, though they traverse 
the territories of almost all independent daimios. 

As wagons or carts are next to unknown, these roads are in- 
tended only for pedestrians and horsemen, and are not always in 
perfect condition in the rainy season. They are made broad in 
order that the trains of two princes may conveniently pass eaCh 

The tokaldo is lined on either side with villages, the larger of 
these extending their suburbs in eachdireotion one or two niiles. 
Thus for a great part of the distance the highway presents the 
appearance of a city street. But at intervals the traveller comes 
into the open country, where, as he moves onward on horseback 
or in a norimon, shaded by ancient elms and oaks, he may enjoy 
the ever-varying scenery, and turn his eyes from lovely hill and 
dale, woodland and green terraces, on one side, to bold head- 
lands and island-dotted bays on the other. The scenery along 
the coast of southern and central Japan is as beautiful as it is 
j)eculiar. The coast is very bold, and indented with thousands, 
of bays and fiords. The surf is dashed to foam on countless rocks 
covered with a gorgeous carpeting of bright-colored sea mosses 
and shells. There are islets worn by time and wave into fantastic 
shapes, and islands rising with high, vertical walls, capped with a 
dense mass of trees and plants, which overhang t"he precipice in 
their luxuriant growth. Here and there a wooded island, rising 
like a pyramid of verdure,.is capped with an ancient temple, made 
accessible by long flights of stone steps, which, beginning under 
an archway on' the beach, climb the- steep hill-side, half hidden by 
the overhanging tree s. The general absence of beach , the dark vol- 
canic rock and rich shades of greenj combined in every variety 
of outline, surrounded- by the sapphire blue of a deep sea, and 
covered by a sky like that which vaults the Mediterranean — these 
are distinctive features of Japanese marine scenery. In the fury 
of a typhoon it is as awfUl as it is enchanting in a calm. The 
Suwonada or inland s6a, which separates Nipon from Kiusiu and 
Sikoku, is described by all who have passed through it as beirlg 
beautiful beyond description. 



But to return to the tokaido, under the shade of whose elms we 
are trotting. . Groups of travellers are strung along the road ; here 
and there a horseman riding, if he bear two swords, astride a sad- 
dle with a peculiar heavy stirrup of iron, his horse's mape dressed 
like a cheval-de-frize with paper cord, and its tail carefully en- 
cased in a bag ; or if the rider be a merchant, he is perched cross- 
legged on a high pack-saddle, and carried slowly by a sorry beast. 
Another group of daimios' retainers and baggage-bearers, separ- 
ated from the main train, loiter at a roadside booth, drinking tea 
or saki, and scowling at the passing foreigners. As we canter 
gently onward we overtake an humble traveller, bent up in the 
basket cango, which, slung under a pole, is borne by two men at a 
trot, who have concluded that it is easier to carry clothing on the 
cango than on their backs. 

Soon a rise in the road shows us a larger group slowly ascend- 
ing the hill before us. From tlie number of retainers it seems to 
belong to a man of high rank, perhaps an inferior daimio. A con- 
siderable number of soldiers and men bearing lances, spears, tri- 
dents, and other insignia, on long poles, are straggling along the 
road escorting a large norimon, behind which a caparisoned horse 
is led by grooms. Richardson had not then been murdered for 
trying to pass the train of a prince, so following the rule of the road 
we cross to the right side, and pass the cortege. Strolling mendi- 
cants and begging priests, with bells or rattles, sturdy story- 
tellers and pretty-faced bikunins, or travelling nuns, as they are 
charitably called, make the tokaido their home, and find on it the 
means of subsistence. I never learned whether the story-tellers 
have the power of improvising, though I have reason to believe 
that they have, since I felt more than once that a laugh was raised 
in the streets at my expense by these popular characters. 

Much mention has . been made by travellers of the mendicant 
nuns or bikunins, of whom I saw several ; they are generally young 
and pretty, though not always so charming as they have been rep- 
resented. Kaempfer has described them : "We also met several 
young bikunins, a sort of begging nuns, who accost travellers for 
their charity, singing songs to divert them, though upon a strange, 
wild sort of tune. They will stay with travellers as long as they 
may wish for a small matter. Most of them are daughters of the 
yamabushi, or mountain priests, and are consecrated as sisters 


of this holy hegging order by having their heads shaved. The; 
are neatly and well clad, wearing a black-silk hood upon thei 
shaven heads, and a light hat over it to defend their faces fron 
the heat of the sun. Their behavior is to all appearance free 
yet modest, neither too bold and loose, nor too dejected anc 
mean. As to their persons, they are as great beauties as one shal 
see in this country. In short, the whole scene is more like a pretty 
stage comedy than the begging of indigent poor people. It ii 
true, indeed, their fathers could not send out upon the begging er 
rand persons more fit for it, since they know not onlyliow tc 
come at travellers' purses, but have charms and beauties enougl 
to oblige them to further good services: * * * They arc 
obliged to bring so much a year of what they get by begging tc 
the temple of the sun goddess at Isse, by way of tribute."* 

It was already late in the evening when we rode through Kaa 
agawa and over the long causeway to Yokohama. 

The greater part of my time was spent in trying to learn Ja- 
panese. I soon saw the hopelessness of attempting to master the 
written language, as the task of wading through hundreds of 
varied and obscure letters of the running hirakana, in addition tc 
some thousands of Chinese characters, was one requiring years of 
patient toil where I could spare only months, and one which had 
not then been accomplished by any foreigner. My object was 
simply to learn the vernacular. The pure Japanese language is 
considered by Klaproth and other leading authorities to stand 
alone, forming a family by itself, whose nearest relationship, 
though very remote, seems to be with the Mongolian and Manchu, 
Siebold and others have tried to trace analogies between it and 
some South American tongues, as those of the Incas and some 
Brazilian tribes, and resemblances have been pointed out between 
it and some Californian and South Sea dialects. But these analo- 
gies are based rather on coincidences in words than on grammati- 
cal structure, and the former have now far less weight with philolo- 
gists than the latter. And this calls to my mind a remarkable 
coincidence, which shows how unreliable results must often be 
which are obtained by a simple comparison of words. The Japan- 
ese word signifying anger is ihari, while an anchor is also ikari. 

* "Japan; an account, Geographical and Historical." Clias. JTacFarlane ; qnotin° 

CHAP, vn.] YOKOHAMA. 113 

a coincidence in the double application of words whicli is certainly 
not based on any generic aflGinity between Japanese and English. 

Spoken by a Japanese lady, this language is as soft and almost 
as musical as Italian ; but when sung under your windows by 
some half-drunken wight, who finishes each line with an explosive 
abruptness, suggestive of a punch in the stomach, it .s anything 
but harmonious. The verbs are easily formed, a large part by 
the combination of auxiliary and intransitive verbs with nouns, 
prepositions, etc., as loakaru, understand — from the noun wafe, 
meaning, and art, to have ; sh'ta-n-inc, stoop, humble, from sh''ta, 
below, and iru, to go. Every verb has a form of etiquette and a 
familiar form, each of which has an independent inflection. The 
polite form is obtained by suffixing the particle mas to the root, 
as aru, arimas, or more politely go-z-arhnas, — all three of them 
forms of the present tense of the verb to have. The verbs are not 
inflected as to either person or number. There is no distinction 
for gender in the grammar, though sex is indicated in some words 
by particles. The plural is formed, in nouns and pronouns, by 
suffixes, as domo,tachi, watahushi, I ; loatakushidomo, we. Nouns 
and pronouns are declined by the addition of suffixes, as ten, heaven ; 
nominative, ten-^oa, or ten-7iga, heaA-en ; possessive, ten-no, of 
heaven ; dative, tcn-i, or ten-ni, to heaven ; accusative, ten-vM, 
heaven; ablative, ten-de. While in some resi^ects there is great 
simplicity in the Japanese grammar, as in gender and number, in 
others it is very complicated, as in its verbs, and in the endless 
number of representative words used for different classes of 
objects in connection with the cardinal numerals. 

With the introduction of the classical literature of China into 
Japan began the incorporation of many Chinese words into the 
native language, and at present even the vocabulary of the lower 
classes contains a large number of these, in addition to the coi- 
responding native words. But in the official language, the pro- 
portion is so large that it becomes nearly, if not quite, unintelli- 
srible to the lower classes. All official writing and important 
literature is written in the Chinese character, often modified for 
inflection, etc., by Japanese letters. Good penmanship is one of 
the first requirements of a Japanese gentleman or scholar, and a 
well-penned character or sentence is often considered as much a 
work of art as a fine painting. 

CHAPTER yill. 


DtTEiNG our stay at Yokohama we might undoubtedly have 
seen far more of the country had we chosen to ask for the 
right to make excursions in our character of foreigners in the 
Jajjanese service, a step we did not wish to take before we should 
have' performed some of our duties. As subjects- of a foreign 
power we had no right to pass the narrow treaty limits, nor would 
it have been always safe to have done so even tinder the protec- 
tion of a Government permit. The relations between foreigners 
and natives were daily becoming more complicated, and a civil 
war was threatening to break out at any moment. Foreign min- 
isters, in the general obscurity that hides the whole political and 
social organization of the empire, not knowing whether our ene- 
mies were in the Government of the Taikoon or among the dai- 
mios, distrusted both alike. Under the pressure of the anti-for- 
eign party of powerful princes, the Yeddo Government was losing 
ground, and the Taikoon menaced with disgrace, should he not 
withdraw at least the greater part of the privileges granted to 
Western powers. To understand the condition of Japan at pres- 
ent, ani the standing of foreigners in it, as well as the pros- 
pect of increasing'benefits to be derived from our intercourse with 
that country, it will be necessary to give a brief outline of this 
political organization, so far as our information on this obscure 
subject will jermit. 

From the time when Jinmu, establishing himself as a deity, 
Son of Heaven, founded the present dynasty and its divine prerog- 
atives, down to the twelfth century, the power transmitted to his 
descejidants appears to have been sufficient to enlarge and govern 
the empire, to carry on foreign wars, and to control the growing 
strength of the princes, among whom the land seems at an early date 
to have been divided into iiefs. In the natural course of a develop- 
ing feudalism the power of the Mikado waned before the combi- 


nations of feudatory lords, -wlio were fast becoming independent 
princes, till in the twelfth century the balance threatened to be 
lost, and the imperial power to be buried amid internal strife. 
"We bave seen how Yoritomo, entrusted by the Mikado with ex- 
traordinary power, succeeded in giving a temporary check to these 
internal troubles, and in laying the foundation on which was to be 
built the rival taikoonate. The check given by Yoritomo to the 
daimios was merely temporary ; it remained for the strong hand 
of Taikosama to restore the balance, not as between the princes and 
the Mikado, but between them and the taikoonate ; the latter, while 
continning. the nominal power of the supreme emperor, using this 
as a makeweight in the scale. 

Sprung from the people, Taiko, even while founding as he 
vainly hoped a line of sovereigns, could have little sympathy 
with the great princes, who were alike dangerous to the empire 
and to the newly-established power. He found the integrity of 
the empire threatened by the independence of these daimios, 
while the allegiance of people jxnd princes was being transferred 
to the Church of Rome. To break these powers was his task. 
The uprooting of Christianity was merely begun by him; it was 
left for his immediate- successors to crush out a religion that was 
menacing the independence of the land. The policy introduced 
by Taiko, and carried to completion by the more powerful among 
his successors, consisted in subdividing the sixty principalities, 
until' they now immber more than six hundred. To facilitate 
this work he engaged the empire in a war with Corea, in which 
the most dangerous daimios Avere drained of their resources to 
an extent that rendered them temporarily harmless. How many 
of the six hundred daimios hold tlieir lands in fief from the Tai- 
koon is not known to foreigners, but it seems that daimios of 
this class form the military barrier which defends the court of 

Within this wall is the intricate machinery of the Governnient ; 
and here we come to the large class of hattamoto — the bureau- 
cracy of Japan. These are the officials proper — not daimios, but 
salaried servants of the Taikoon— receiving their pay in rice, 
money, or land. They foi-m the three arms of the service, and a 
list issued monthly publishes the promotions and changes made 
in their numbers. 

116 ACMOSii AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap, viii 

Among the many checks placed on the daimios, the most im- 
portant is perhaps the obligation to live half the time at Yeddo,' 
"while during the other half they are forced to leave their families 
at the capital as hostages. The large standing army each prince 
is obliged to maintain, at home and at Yeddo, is a constant drain 
upon his' resources. They appear to be prohibited from visiting 
each other, and all intercourse between them seems to be ren- 
dered difficult, with a view to prevent coalitions. But these 
feudatory lords still have an immense power, and recent events 
have shown that however absolute Taikosama and his first succes- 
sors may have been, the Taikoon of the present time is far from 
being so supreme as has been supposed. 

The Sioguu,* or Taikoon, holds the fourth rank from the 
Mikado, from whom he receives his investiture. Next to the 
Taikoon comes the Council of the Kokushi, consisting of eighteen 
or twenty-four daimios, among whom are some of the most pow- 
erful members of the ancient aristocracy. These are the repre- 
sentatives of the Mikado at Yeddo, and are said to take no 
active part in the Government, but rather to form a consultative 
body, whose duty it is to advise upon questions where their own 
and the Mikado's sanction is necessary, as in the instances of 
the treaties with foreign powers, when intercourse with these had 
been prohibited by the laws of Gongensama for more than two 
centuries. Next comes the Gorogio, called the Cabinet of the 
Taikoon, composed of five daimios of the third class, seemingly 
chosen from the newer aristocracy. Subordinate to the Gorogio 
there is a council of eight ministers, also daimios, but of inferior 
position, whose functions are supposed to be purely administra- 

After the second council come the Bunios, of whom there seems 
to be a large number holding a great variety of offices. A num- 
ber of these, under the name of Gaikoko Bunio, Governors of 
Foreign Afiairs, are said to correspond, to a certain extent, to the 
British Under-Secretaries of State, and the American Assistant- 
Secretaries. From the class of Bunios are appointed the gover- 
nors of towns and judges. The larger part, if not all, of the ofli- 
ces inferior to the above are filled from the hattamotos. 

■ * In this sketch of the organization of the Yeddo Government, I have followed Sir E. . 
Alcock's work, " The Capital of the Tycoon," and the author of the App. D, in the same 

CHAP. Yin.] POLITICS. 117 

Almost eveiy office is duplicated, perhaps every one below the 
Taikoon. Every officer who holds a position of any responsibility, 
down to the subalterns of the custom house, is attended by a 
metzki, or an ometzki, according to the rank of tlie officei". These 
have generally been called spies by foreigners, but they are mdi-e 
properly auditors, and they constitute not only a powerful check 
against misconduct in office, but are at the same time official 
advisers on all questions. They are, at least sometimes, promoted 
to fill the positions of those whose auditors they have been. At 
the consular ports there are several metzkis, whose duty it is to 
be present at all interviews between foreigners and any official. 
These report to the ometzki, whose duty it is to attend the Gov- 
ernor. The ometzki reports to a board of o-o-metzkis at Yeddo. 
Once a year members of this board make tours of inspection 
through the empire. 

But apart from this open system of control there is a net-work 
of espionage spreading its secret meshes over every part of the 
empire, and surrounding the actions of mikado, daimio, and 
official, and, to a certain extent also, of the people. Working in 
profound secresy, the spy adopts the apparent position most 
likely to further his object. One of the embassadors to the 
United States was at one time a spy of th is class in Hakodade, 
circulating among the inhabitants in the disguise of a pedlar. 

So m.uch for the machinery of Government ; concerning the 
population, whose political and social life it controls, our informa- 
tion is not much more definite. They are divided into classes, 
not indeed as strongly marked as are the castes in India, but still 
fenced in with all the restrictions of feudalism. These classes 
are said to be eight in number, viz : 

1. The daimios, many of whom hold large territories in the 
administration of the affairs in which they are virtually indepen- 
dent, possessing despotic power over the lives of then- subjects. 
These princes rank according to their revenues, which, estimated in 
kokos* of rice, vary from 1,200,000 to 10,000 kokoas (£769,728 
to £6,400.) t 

2. Hereditary nobility, not daimos, holding their estates in 
fief from daimios or the Taikoon, and obliged to furnish fight- 
ing men in proportion to the value of the estates. This class is, 

• One Koko equals about 100 lbs. + Alcock's "Capital of the Tycoon," App. D. 

118 ACROSS AMEBIC A AND ASIA. [chap, viil 

I believe, the liattamoto, at least those in it who are vassals of 
the Taikoon. 

3. Priests of all sects. - 

4. Soldiers, vassals of the nobility. 

'The members of these four upper classes have, among other 
privileges, those of wearing two swords and Turkish trousers, 
and may ride on saddles. 

5. Professional men, as physicians, government clerks, etc. 

6. Merchants of the higher class, who, although possessing 
perhaps the greatest wealth of any class in the empire, are looked 
down upon by those above them, from whose ranks they are 
excluded. Still some of the gi-eat merchant faniilies in which 
wealth has accumulated for many generations, affect Considerable 
state in travelling, and it is not impossible that some among tliem 
may hold a social position somewhat analogous to that of a Roths- 
child in aristocratic Austria. 

7. This class includes smaller dealers, mechanics, artisans, 
and artists. 

8. Peasantry and day laborers of all descriptions. 

Below these there is a class composed of workers "in leather, 
who are pariahs, living in suburbs, separated from. the rest of the 
inhabitants, and not allowed to enter even a roadside inn ; they 
furnish the executioners. 

There is another subdivision into classes which has rather refer- 
ence to classification of occupations in the abstract, viz : war, 
agriculture, scholarship, trade. 

The great mass of producers and manufacturers, forming a 
class far below the consumers, are merely tolerated, and their 
position is not much better than serfdom. The common soldier 
enjoys privileges which the merchant, often far better educated 
and richer, may not hope to see accrue to either himself or his 
descendants. One would suppose that in absence of the ability 
to pass from the lower to the higher ranks all incentive would be 
wanting for the accumulation of surplus wealth, in a country 
wliere dress and most expenses are regulated by sumptuary law; 
but this does not seem to be the case. 

The government of the empire is best described by calling it 
a feudalism of the most despotic kind, while at. the same time it 
is doubtful whether any other people ever before prospered and 


lived as happily under a feudal and despotic government as do 
the Japanese. 

The relation between the tenant and his landlord is not well 
understood ; it is known that rent is paid in kind amounting to 
more than half the crop, the land being frequently surveyed <o 
determine the share ; this applies to rice, other crops being paid 
Ml money. 

We have then two great opposing elements, the Taikoon and 
:he daimios, and between them the nominally acknowledged su- 
zerain of both, the Mikado. The power of the Mikado is moral, 
but even as such it is immense, and in it would seem to lie the 
balance. This power existing in the prestige attaching to the 
Mikado, as such, appears to be independent of any individuality, 
and is consequently valuable only as an insti-ument in the hands 
of one or the other of the opposing parties. During times, of 
peace, when the national machinery runs smoothly, the Mikados 
go through the tedious routine of living and dying, toy sovereigns 
with a toy court ; but when some grave qiiestion arises, as of late 
years, he becomes the object of intrigue, and the most important 
problem appears to be who shall then control his mandates. 

Although much depends upon the individual character of the 
Taikoon, still the greater part of the power of the Yeddo Gov- 
ernment lies in the hands of the Council of Kokushi and the Go- 
rogio, and above these, as it would appear from their action con- 
cerning the treaty with Commodore Perry, is the voice of the as- 
sembled 600 daimios, to be consulted on questions of the deejjest 
importance. From this it will be seen how difficult it is to find 
the true seat of power. The reins seem to lie in the liands of the 
Taikoon, and the power of this to be limited by combinations 
among the daimios, and by the action of these through the voice of 
the Mikado. A system of intrigue and espionage at the court of 
Miako and among the daimios has until lately been sufficient to 
I maintain the nice balance established by Taikosama. This cer- 
tainly seems remarkable, when we consider that each prince keeps 
a large standing army, and controls his own territory. 

Many explanations have been attempted of the causes lying at 
the bottom of the troubles that have attended recent intercourse 
between foreigners and Japanese. Sir Rutherford Alcock, for 
three yeai-s British Minister to Japan, supposes that the Govern- 


ment yielded the treaties solely under the belief that a refusal 
would be followed by a war with all the powers demanding inter- 
course, and that they yielded with the intention of expelling for- 
eigners so soon as they should feel strong enough. With all due 
respect for the opinion of one who has had three years of diplo- 
■natic intercourse with the Yeddo Government,! cannot but think 
that this judgment is unjust. Another explanation seems to me 
to accord much better with the course of events which followed 
the making of the last treaties. 

For many years an increasing number among the upper 
classes had been students of foreign sciences and, arts, to such an 
extent as they could profit by Dutch works on these subjects and 
translations from them. If there were no daimios among this 
number, several of them encouraged these studies and endeavored 
to turn them to practical account in building ships and steam- 
boats, in casting cannon, and in establishing manufactories of dif- 
ferent kinds. Thus some of the great princes, whatever they 
might think of the foreigner, had evidently begun to appreciate 
tlie material features of his civilization, and they undoubtedly 
saw in foreign trade a means of strengthening themselves and | 
increasing their revenues. This is proved by the fact that they 
have shown themselves exceedingly eager to buy foreign steam- 
ers and sailing vessels, and that their tenants have been allowed 
to turn their attention to the production of such articles as have 
at different times been most in demand for the Western markets. 
I know of no reason why this remark should not be true of all the 

The Yeddo Government also saw in foreign trade the source 
of a large revenue, at the same time that their knowledge of 
Western affairs and the march of events on the shores^of the Pa- 
cific taught them that the time was fast approaching when se- 
clusion would be impossible. It is not likely that the making of 
the treaties was at the time very seriously opposed. But a vio- 
lent opposition broke out afterward. The cause of this appears 
to have been much more in the restrictions placed by the Govern- 
ment upon trade between the daimios and foreigners, than in 
any hatred felt by the former toward the latter. The Govern- 
ment, ever jealous of the princes, while it could not prevent these 
from buying steamers, would not allow them to employ a foreigner 

CUAP. Till.] POLITICS. 121 

ill any capacity, thus rendering the loss of costly vessels almost 
certain, a loss which the Government may have regarded as a de- 
sirable drain on the owners' resources. They were restricted also 
in the purchase of arms, and finally, not only were the daimios 
prohibited from sending any of their subjects abroad, but all 
their products destined for the Western market could reach the 
foreign merchant only through the hands, or under the surveil- 
lance of Government employes, and they charged the Govern- 
ment with retaining the lion's share of the profits. 

These resti-ictions could not but excite the jealousy and opposi- 
tion of the daimios. Among the first results of foreign inter- 
course was a complete revolution in the relative values of labor 
and its products, a condition of things which vreighed heavily on 
a large part of the population, especially in the interior. Silk, one 
of the great articles of export, nearly doubled in value at the 
ports from 1861 to 1804. The demand for cotton produced by 
the American war, raised tlie jprice of this necessity from a few 
cents to over thirty cents per pound. It was the same with almost 
everything for which there was a demand for exports. Thus in 
Japan, which had been one of the cheapest countries in the world, 
the prices of the necessities of life were suddenly raised to nearly 
an equality with those in the dearest markets. The effect of this 
was to bring great profits to the Government and to those stand- 
ing between the producer and foreign shipper, while the producer 
was obliged to pay for necessities and luxuries j^rices out of all 
proportion greater than the increased value of his products. 
Naturally, in the absence of extraordinary hindrances, time would 
equalize the relations between labor and its products, but, at 
best, it would take years for an equilibrium to. establish itself 
through the whole country. The value of labor on Nipon is un- 
known to me, but at the mines on Yesso, where it was said to be 
much dearer, miners received 5 cents, common laborers 4 cents, 
overseers 7 cents, and women 2 to 6 cents daily — each receiving 
daily rations of the value of 4.5 cents. On ISTipon, rice, the main- 
stay of life, Avas worth until recently about one cent per pound. 
If the rise in prices bore heavily on the laboring classes, accustomed 
to live in the strictest simplicity, it weighed still more upon the 
immense population of less patient retainers and Government em- 
ployes, whose pay had hitherto enabled them to dress in silk 

122 AOjROSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. viii. 

and indulge in luxuries. Having no interest, present or prospec 
tive, in foreign intercourse, they soon became exasperated at a 
state of tilings ■which plunged them into a condition of relative 
poverty, since their pay remained stationary. 

In addition to these causes for internal troubles, there ■were 
intrigues among princes, ■who sought to aggrandize themselves at 
the expense of the Taikoon. These, finding a powerful lever in 
the rising unpopularity of the course pursued by the Yeddo 
Government, brought it to bear at the court of the Mikado, 
and all the more effectually that the making of the treaties 
had been vs^ithout the consent, and probably in defiance, of that 

These intrigues culminated in the organization of an opposition 
sufficiently strong to control the Mikado, before ■whom the Taikoon 
was summoned to appear. In the conferences of the great lords 
of the emi3ire, assembled at Miako in 1863 and 1864, several of 
the daimios appear to have openly advocated the removal of all 
I'estrictions on foreign trade, and the opening of the ■whole country. 
But the decision of the majority resulted in a decree of the Mikado, 
commanding the Taikoon to release the princes from obligation 
to live ■vvith their families at Yeddo, and ordering these to turn 
all their resources toAvard preparations for -war, with a view to 
the expulsion of the " barbarians." 

Foremost among the opposition was the Prince of Chosiu, whose 
batteries at Simonoseki command the inland sea. This daimio 
precipitately began hostilities, which soon brought him into war 
not only with foreign powers by firing on their vessels, but with 
the Taikoon, and, by his attempt to seize the person of the Mikado, 
with the court of Miako. The empire was threatened at the 
same moment with both a civil and a foreign war. It became 
evident how little real power the Yeddo Government possessed 
when opposed by the daimios and the Mikado. The open ports 
were threatened with constant danger, trade was at a standstill, 
and the Government ^v&s pressing the abandonment of Yokohama 
by foreigners. 

A combined attack made by the foreign squadrons upon Simo- 
noseki resulted in the immediate humbling of Chosiu, and changed 
the whole complex of affairs. The, Taikoon Avas strengthened by 
the humiliation of his chief opponent, and from that time the 

CHAP. Tin.] POLITICS. 123 

course of events was progressive.* One of the most significant 
results of this change in the political current -was the decree 
which soon followed, permitting Japanese to go abroad — lea,ving 
the country, axen when carried away by storms at sea, having 
been always a capital offence. That it has been, throughout, 
the intention of the Yeddo Government to extend their relations 
witli the outside world, is shown, I think, by the fact of their pur- 
cliasing foreign merchant-vessels, with the intention of opening 
a direct trade between their own merchants and other countries. 
Two voyages of this description were made — one to the Anioor 
river, the other to Shanghai. The intention of the Government 
was to open the way for a direct trade in which Japanese mer- 
chants should compete with the foreign shippers. The history 
of the past nine years has been marked by many acts of violence 
which have tended to widen the breach between the Japanese and 
' foreigners. A few of these have perhaps had a direct ^Jolitical ori- 
gin, but the greater number, if not all, have been acts of revenge, 
in wliieh the victims were the provokers, or have suffered for the 
deeds of other foreigners. Even the attempted assassination of 
Sir R. Alcock is ascribed by that gentleman to the wish of a 
daimio to be avenged on a foreigner of rank for having been 
forced to demean himself by having an interview with the com- 
mander of a Russian man-of-war. The murder of Richardson, 
which was so fearfully avenged by the British fleet at Kagosima, 
was another instance of the sajne class. Shimadzo Saburo, repre- 
sentative of the powerful Prince of Satsuma, had been to Yeddo 
as bearer of a message from the Mikado. Returning after un- 
successful negotiadons, his large retinue was met by a party of 
foreigners. In order to avoid any collision, the Government had 
requested foreign ministers to warn their countrymen of the 
danger of riding on the tokaido on that particular day. A party 
of three Englishmen and one lady, disregarding the warning, 
met the train beyond Kanagawa, when, as would appear from 
the language of the lady, the soldiers tried to crowd the party 
off from the road — a proceeding which was resented by an at- 
tempt to break across the doable file of retainers. The latter, 

* Since the above was written great changes have taken place. A revolution has heen 
begun, of which we cannot foresee the end. The Taikoon Government has, at least for the 
present, disappeared. It remains to be seen whether the foreign Miuisters have acted 
wisely in using their influence in the furtherance of this revolution, in which the country 
seems likely to be resolved into its feudal elements. 

124 ACBOSS AMERICA AND A8IA. [chap. yia. 

drawing their swords, cut down Mr. Richardson, and the re- 
mainder of the party escaped only with several wounds. Rich- 
ardson, at first wounded, was afterward killed, by the order, it 
seems, of Shimadzo Saburo. Had a Japanese of any rank tried 
to cross a similar train he would have been cut down in like 
manner ; but it appears from the language of the lady, immedi- 
ately' after her escape — language quite different from that of the 
subsequent aifidavits of the party — that there was an attempt to 
force a passage across the train by riding down the soldiers. 
Certainly it would seem that some such provocation was given, 
since another foreigner, a few minutes in advance of this party, 
met the train, and passed it without the slightest trouble. The 
affidavits of the party, however, represented the attack as having 
been wholly unprovoked ; and, acting on this, the British Gov- 
ernment prepared to avenge the assassination. Satsuma was re- 
sponsible for the act, and to his capital, Kagosima, the fleet was 
sent, to demand the payment of £25,000 as indemnity, and the 
execution of the murderers. After two interviews with the offi- 
cers of Satsuma, in which the latter blamed the Taikoon's Gov- 
ernment, and proposed that a commission should examine into 
the indemnity question, the Charge d'Afiaires placed the matter 
in the hands of the admiral, who seized as pledges three steamers 
belonging to Satsuma. The Japanese, regarding this as an act 
of hostility, opened fire, when the admiral signalled to have the 
steamers burned. In the midst of a fierce gale, the squadron 
brought its guns to bear on the town. 

" At this time the storm was raging with great fury ; the town 
had been fired by the shells and rockets of the fleet, and the wind 
was carrying the flames swiftly through the streets. A dreadful 
spectacle was thus presented. The three [captured] steamers 
were on fire, as were also five large Lewchew junks, to which the 
gunboat " Havoc " had separately applied the torch, and the city 
stretching away over three miles was in flames, which were seen 
also to envelop the green trees on the hillsides. The foundry 
and machine shops, a mile in extent, were also on fire, and the fury 
of the fiames kept pace with that of the storm. The next moi-n- 
ing the fleet opened fire again on the town and batteries, some 
of which feebly responded. Several shells were thrown into the 
palace, which is believed to have been destroyed, as flames were 

CHAP. Yiii.] POLITICS. 125 

seen to issue from it as the fleet left. " The account from wliicli 
I quote adds : " It was thought that sufficient had been accom- 
plished by way of punishment, and that further proceedings would 
be regarded as vindictive ! " 

The attacking squadron suffered severely, and lost fifty-six offi- 
cers and men. The loss of life among the population of the city is 
said to have been very great, as no notice whatever was given 
of the intended bombardment. Indeed, scarcely thirty-six hours 
passed between the arrival of the fleet and the attack. Thus many 
lives were lost, and a city laid in ruins, and with it the extensive 
machine shops — the nucleus of foreign civilization in Japan — all 
because a foreigner had been killed in attempting to do that which 
law and custom punish with death in Japanese subjects. "When 
a young Englishman was shot down in Rome by a French sentinel 
whom he approached, not having understood the challenge, did 
any one think that offence called for the bombardment of a Frencli 
city ? It was in fact in perfect accord with the policy followed by 
the West in treating with the East. When an Englishman, or an 
American, or a Frenchman — starting from the firm belief that all ori- 
entals are infinitely beneath his own race — assumes that they have 
no rights he is bound to respect ; ignores the fact that, as a stran- 
ger, he is tolerated in their land by courtesy or necessity, and forci- 
bly .attempts to assert that superiority ; he should be taught that he 
does so at his own risk. As with the individual, so with the nation. 
The representativesof the Western governments ai-e clothed with 
almost sovereign power, and are only too often also imbued with 
the prej udice of race. That which they would not dream of doing in 
the face of an European power, they often do not hesitate to prac- 
tice toward a weaker oriental nation — constantly violating interna- 
tional law at the same time that they demand of them an observ- 
ance of it. Thus at Kagosima we find the fleet arriving on the 
evening of the 11th. Negotiations during the 12th resulted in a 
letter which did not refuse compliance with the weighty demands 
of the English, but proposed the appointment of commissioners by 
Satsuma and the Taikoon to determine whether the former was 
responsible for the murder, or the latter from not having stipulated 
in the treaties that foreigners should not be bound to observe the 
same rules of the road that are obligatory among the natives. 
This letter was evasive, and early on the 13th the steamers of Sat- 

126 ACROSS AMEBICA AND ASIA. [chap., vui. 

suma were seized without any notification that they were taken as 
pledges, and not as a declaration of war. This is resented by a hrisk 
fire upon the squadron. The admiral fiDrthwith burns the three 
prizes and other shipping, and within half an hour has began a fierce 
bombardment, not of the batteries only, but of a large city, amid 
whose converging flames thousands of innocent people find their 
death. Surely these things are done quicker in eastern than in 
western waters ; and what can prevent hasty action where all 
depends on one word from one man, and where that word, on 
which hang the lives of thousands, may depend on the state of 
that man's digestion ? 

Leaving justice out of the question, the material interests of 
the West require a thorough change in its policy to ward orientals . 
Throughout eastern Asia we have to deal with people on whom, 
at present, we are far more dependent than they are upon us ; 
at the same time we are hoping to create among them the prin- 
cipal markets for the products of our industry. The creation of 
such markets presupposes the creation of wants, which are wholly 
inconsistent w ith a condition of de cay, and which can be gratified 
only by the products of an industry of which a vigorous national 
vitality must necessarily be the basis. Ev erything that tends t o 
impair that vitality , whether it be the indirect encouragement of 
anarchy, through the weakening of the government, or by the 
forced introduction of opium, operates directly a gain st the inte r- 
es ts of the We st. Both justice and our own interests demand that 
our diplomacy with these people shall start not from the assump- 
tion that they are an inferior race ; but that, owing to continued 
isolation, they are now a century or more behind us — and this not 
in all things, but in a few of those essential points of our civiliza- 
tion at which Western nations have successively arrived at recent 
dates. Starting from this point, and looking upon them as capable, 
under favorable circumstances, of rising to the average level of 
Western countries, it will be the duty of the West to render the 
conditions necessary to such an elevation as favorable as possible. 
The cunning of the Japanese or Chinese statesman, by which he 
seeks to compensate for his nation's weakness, not only in exciting 
jealousies among foreign ministers, but in a thousand other ways, 
must be met by a just and united action on the part of the repre- 
sentatives of the West. While we exact from them the observance 

CHAP. Tm.] POLITICS. ~ 127 

of treaty stipulations, we must first see to it that those stipulations 
ai"e just; and, next, our policy must be such as will tend to make 
these governments independent of foreign military aid, in either 
external or internal troubles. Thus, by strengthening the power of 
a government, we shall both remove from it the cause for a deceitful- 
ness which arises from conscious weakness, and shall render it able to 
meet its treaty obligations. Such a policy requires a co-operation 
not only among the foreign representatives, but also among their 
respective governments ; and surely the problem which it alone can 
satisfactorily solve is sufficiently important to demand for it a 
careful consideration. The problem is nothing less than this: 
there are two healthy nations, representing more than one-third 
of the human race : shall we do that which lies in our power 
toward maintaining them in a healthful condition and raising them 
to the rank of equals, or shall we stand by and see them sink into 
a state of decay, in which for centuries they will be not' only use- 
less to the world, but a curse upon it ? We shall see, in speaking 
of China, that this desirable change of policy was inaugurated by 
the foreign representatives at Peking. Could the home govern- 
ments be brought to see the importance of the change, as did the 
broad-minded statesmen who originated it, it would be alike well 
for the future of the East and for the world at large. What Tur- 
key is to-day to Europe, eastern Asia^ if not rendered self -de- 
pendent, will surely soon be to the worl d. 

i would here remark that as England, of all western countries, 
has long played the most important part in the East, comments on 
Western diplomacy in that part of the world are almost synony- 
mous with comments on English diplomacy. But I am instigated 
by no feeling of animosity toward England in my remarks, for I con- 
sider her simply as the exponent of the whole West. England has 
built up the commerce of the world ; and if in doing, as she has 
done, almost the entire police duty of the Eastern seas, and in 
opening new countries to trade with all the world, she has com- 
mitted many acts which may in future be considered as stains on 
her flag, it must be remembered how great are her interests there 
at stake, and that what she has done we might also have done 
Under less excusing circumstances. 



Toward the end of April I joined Mr. C. Maximowitch,' a dis- 
tinguished Russian botanist and explorer, in making an excur- 
sion to Inosima, on Wodowara bay. A pleasant ride along the 
■western shore of Yeddo bay brought us to Outzu, or the penin- 
sula of Sagami, where, leaving the sea, we turned to cross over 
to Wodowara bay. There are extensive fortifications at this 
place, aTid wehad barely, passed behind, these when several sol- 
diers rushed out after us, with drawn swords.. They, were fortu- 
nately on foot ; and, finding that we did not , stop, they sent a 
runner to give notice of our, coming. This fellow shot past us, 
and although we kept ixp a travelling trot, he.: reached ^ village 
four or five miles oif a few minutes; before.iW,^ arrived. But. we 
were , half-way through the place , before those who might :have 
turned us/back could be astir. ■ The warden, with- Ms • jingling 
staif,- on his way to stop us, started back at the sight of two for- 
eigners, and before he could recover we were beyond. the, village. 

It is impossible to ride anywhere in Japan, off from the tokaido, 
vrithout being aware of the diiSculties an invading army would 
meet with. Excepting the few great arteries, like the tokaido, 
the roads are mere bridle paths, winding among rice fields, which, 
at most seasons, are deep sloughs of mud. 

When we came in sight of the sea, a view presented itself in 
which I immediately recognized a scene familiar to all who have 
seen much of the Japanese lacquered ware. Before us lay the 
smooth water of Wodowara bay. A mile or more from us a 
long, low neck of sand joined the beach to the rocky island of 
Inosima. Far away over this neck, and the bay beyond, rose the 
lofty and graceful cone of Fuziyama. This view of the moun- 
tain is a favorite subject of Japanese artists. The annexed sketch 
is taken from this point. The most perfect of volcanic cones, ris- 
ing, no matter whence you see it, above a beautiful intervening 

CHAP. ix.;| 



landscape, it is with reason an object of national pride, and the 
subject of innumerable sketches and verses. 

Sii- R. Alcook and the Europeans of his party are the only 
foreigners who have ascended Fuziyama. They determined the 
height of the highest peak, by the boiling point and aneroid, to be 
14,177 feet above the sea, and estimated the depth of the crater 
at 350 feet. The last eruption was in 1707, and six months 
afterward the mountain Ha-e-san was thrown up on its tiank. 
Other great eruptions took place in A.D. 1032, A.D. 800, and 
A.D. 781. 


This mountain is the resort of thousands of pilgrims from the 
common classes ; but according to the British minister it is con- 
sidered beneath the dignity of a person of rank to make the 
ascent. Indeed, I believe that the upper classes are generally 
Confucianists, while Fuziyama is sacred in the Sintu religion. 

A pleasant canter along the firm beach brought us to the 
sandy neck, and over this, between two lines of surf, to the isl- 
and. Here we passed under the inevitable temple gate-way or 
arch • this one was of bronze, and its unusual size and workman- 
ship showed that wc were entering upon very sacred ground. 

130 AOSOSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. ix. 

The island is about two hundred feet high, and a quarter of a 
mile or more long, three of its sides being precipices. From the 
sacred portal we ascended the steep street between a double row 
of inns, at one of which we left the horses, and continued the ex- 
cursion on foot. Temples with large paved squares in front of 
them, filled with pilgrims, booths of shell dealers, small tea- 
houses, and fragments of overturned gateways — records of 
earthquakes — lined the street on either side. 

The island is cleft by a great chasm, which is now partially 
re-filled with detritus. But the celebrity of the place arises from 
a long, tunnel-like cave, passing at the level of the sea nearly 
through the island, and excavated by the waves along a system 
of cracks in the sandstone. The cavern is about 500 feet long, 
but the waves rush into it through a long, deep chasm, a continu- 
ation of the cave without the roof. Here is the home of the sea- 
god, of whom there are many images in the dark recess. Truly, 
a more appropriate place could scarcely be found for his abode 
than this, where the surges of a stormy sea must enter with awful 
force and reverberating thunder. 

Walking back to the inn, we were struck with the beauty of 
many of the shells exposed for sale ; among these were the deli- 
cate, smooth scallop, with one valve white and the other pur- 
ple, and the paper nautilus. In these waters are found also the 
fragile and hair-like vitreous coral, and the beautiful fluted den- 

On our return we visited the Daibutz at Kamakura, and, cross- 
ing thence to the tokaido, reached Yokohama. During my ab- 
sence a vessel had arrived, bringing Mr. Pruyn, the successor to 
Mr. Harris, and the consuls for Yokohama and Hakodade. As 
this ship was going to Yesso, we proposed to the Government to 
send us by it, and they immediately dispatched a Governor of 
Foreign Afiairs to Yokohama, to give us our instructions. 

After our business was transacted I asked the Governor what 
objection there could be to Mr. Blake and myself seeing Yeddo. 
I was not a little astonished when he replied that there was not the 
slightest objection, and expressed surprise that we had not al- 
ready visited the capital. He informed us that, should we wish 
to go thither the following morning, he would give orders to the 
Governor of Kanagawa to provide us with an escort. We accepted 

cu.AP. IX.] EXCURSIONS. 131 

the offer, although it would allow us only one day at Yeddo, 
including the journey. 

Early the next morning, accompanied by six officers and eight 
bettos or running footmen, we set out for the capital. With the 
exception of a few short interruptions, the road between Kana- 
gawa and Yeddo is lined on both sides with houses, forming under 
different names one long, narrow village. A short distance be- 
yond Kanagawa we passed the place where, a few months later, 
Mr. Richardson was killed. 

Away from the tokaido, the country lying only a few feet above 
the bay is a broad expanse of rice plantations. The horizon is 
bounded on the west by the low green bluff of a table-land, which, 
approaching the sea near the southern limit of Yeddo, furnishes 
elevated ground for the city, while to the numerous valleys in this 
plateau Yeddo owes much of the agreeable variety and pictur- 
esqueness of its scenery. 

Our escort conducted us to the American legation,where we were 
hospitably received by Mr. Harris, from whom we learned, much 
to our disappointment, that we had visited Yeddo upon the one 
day ia all the year when it would be impossible for us to either 
cross the city or approach the castle, since on tliat day the Tai- 
koon would visit a favorite palace, and the Government had re- 
quested that no foreigners should enter the heart of the capi- 
tal. I felt this disappointment less than I should have, had I fore- 
seen that I was to leave Japan without revisiting its metropolis. 

The legation occupied the large reception rooms of a temple 
built for the use of those daimios whose ancestral tablets were 
here preserved. For the protection of the minister, the grounds 
were surrounded by a double stockade of bamboos. Between 
these walls a strong patrol was constantly on duty, and from 150 
to 200 soldiers, furnished by the Taikoon and a daimio, were 
always on guard. Piles of combustible materials were scattered 
through the grounds, by which, in case of an attack, a brilliant 
light could be produced. In the midst of dangers requiring pre- 
cautions of this kind did Mr. Harris live in Yeddo, after the with- 
drawal of the other ministers, himself and his interpreter, Mr. 
Portman, being the only Europeans in the great city. 

The grounds of the temple were large, and contained some 
beautiful specimens of Japanese gardening, consisting of dwarfed 

132 ACROSS AMEBIOA AND ASIA. [chap. ix. 

trees and rock work, with ponds containing gold lish and silver 
fish. Several of these were more than two feet long, while some 
of the smaller ones proudly steered their way by means of lobed 
tails longer than their bodies, and apparently as delicate as lace. 

The excursion we made at the suggestion of Mr. Harris, while it 
showed us only a small part of Yeddo, led us through the daimio 
quarter. One feature that struck me was the abundance of large 
trees, many of them primeval forest pines, which met the eye at 
every turn, crowning the low hills or rising from the grounds of a 
daimio's yaski. The enclosures are very large, and one may ride 
miles between the low black barracks that surround them. Of 
the space enclosed only a casual glimpse is vouchsafed by an 
open gateway. In these enclosures many small standing armies 
are scattered through Yeddo, and it is said that military drill 
and artillery practice are here kept up as regularly as among west- 
ern armies. Should the system be destroyed which so perfectly 
balances these forces, it seems almost certain that Japan, with 
its feudal lords and their mountain-bound territories, will undergo 
a most destructive period of anarchy. 

Although I was nearly aU the day in the saddle, I saw but little 
of Yeddo excepting the streets leading through the daimio quarter 
and the western suburbs. Here we rode for miles through what 
was half town, half country. The houses were all neat villas, 
standing some distance from the road. They were protected, 
but not hidden, by hedges of living bamboos and other plants, 
while the grounds enclosed were shaded by carefully cultivated 
trees, and ornamented with the choice flowering shrubs of the 

As we turned our steps homeward, and re-entered the long 
suburb on the road to Kanagawa, the escort pressed upon us the 
necessity of keeping together, as the drinking-houses of this 
quarter were always full of the drunken retainers, who are a con- 
stant source of terror to the peaceable inhabitants. A somewhat 
startling illustration of the habits of this class ofiered itself more 
suddenly than was agreeable. A party of eight or ten dashed 
into the street just ahead of us, flourishing their drawn swords 
and acting like devils. Fortunately they were either too drunk 
or too much bent on cutting each other to notice us. 

It was late at night when we reached Yokohama. We had 



gone fifty-four miles since the morning, and we had been to Yeddo, 
and had ridden sixteen miles in the city ; we had probably seen 
less of its interesting points than any other travellers before or 
since. One only out of all our running footmen returned with 
us, having kept ahead of his horse during the entire journey. 
The varied picture of life oifered by a great city, even though seen 
from a distance, leaves a more vivid impression on the mind of a 
traveller, and supplies, perhaps, more suggestions for his apprecia- 
tion of a people, than any other phase of a journey. But know- 
ing as little as do foreigners of the social life and manner of think- 
ing of the Japanese, it is impossible to give a just description 
of their character. The opinion of each traveller is generally 
based on the strongly-impressed incidents of his experience. On 
liis first excursion he hears the ' universal salutation, " Ohaio !" 
good morning ! which he receives from children, and enters in his 
joui-nal that the Japanese are an exceedingly hospitable people. 
Soon he finds that the exclamation is quite as often, " bacca ! 
bacca !" fool ; or " tojin ! tojin !" Chinaman ; and when the novelty 
of their appeai-ance has worn off, he becomes vexed at the immense 
crowds of men, women, and children, which, attracted by the nov- 
elty of his appearance, follow him through the streets, and nearly 
crowd him out of his quarters at the inn, in their anxiety to see 
him eat, drink, sit, and stand, even waiting for him to undress to 
see whether the barbarian is made like themselves. If he lacks 
patience, the virtue above all others necessary to the traveller, he 
is likely to resent this treatment by violence, and to get a pelting 
with miid or stones for his reward. Such treatment causes a 
change in his estimate of the people, and the world is informed 
that the Japanese hate foreigners. 

He sees the " social evil" at the tea-houses, and visiting the pub- 
lic baths finds both sexes bathing in common , without the refine-'^ 
ments adopted at Newport or Brighton, and the world learns 
that modesty, and consequently all other virtues, are unknown to 
the Japanese — that they are sunk to the lowest depths of vice to 
which even a heathen people can sink. 

But the thoughtful traveller learns in the first stages of his 
wanderings, that the more distant the relationship between two 
races, the more difficult is it to measure them by the same stand- 
ard. To describe a people we must first know their inner life — 

134 A0B08S AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap, ix 

how they act and how they think, what are their home relations, 
and what their virtues and vices — for to these a nation's character 
may be reduced. Before we can pass judgment upon their 
character, or compare it with our own, it is necessary to analyze 
their virtues and vices, to find out how much of these is absolute 
and how much conventional, when compared with the West ; and 
when, after submitting our own to the same analysis, we have 
reduced botb to their simplest expressions, then and not till then 
may we institute a comparison. 

But ignorance of these data does not prevent ray giving to 
the reader the impressions gleaned during a closer intercourse 
than foreigners have generally had with the natives. 

In the nervousness of their temperament they differ widely 
from all the o ther peoples of eastern Asia ; and, although we are 
ignorant of their literature, enough is visible in their art to show 
that in imaginativeness, as well as temperament, they approach 
^more ne a rly to the Hindoo race than does any of the Mongolian 
branches. In this fact lies the secret of the rapidity with whic h 
not only the Buddist, but, later, the Christian religion took ro ot 
among all class es. And in nothing is the difference between the 
Chinese and Japanese more marked than in this matter of reli- 
gion ; for while in China the early popular faith, after the lapse 
of thousands of years, sank to its already ancient condition of a 
State ceremonial, and was supplanted by the materialism of 
Confucius, leaving only a few vague superstitions floating in the 
popular mind, the race between Buddisra and Confucianism, con- 
tinuing nearly as long in one country as in the other, has in 
Japan always been to the advantage of the former. 

This same characteristic feature of the national mind may 
again render easy the introduction of Christianity clothed in the 
splendor of the Roman ritual, an event which none but the most 
sanguine can anticipate for China. 

The writers on Japan, of tbe sixteenth century, could not say 
too much for the truthfulness, frankness, and gentleness of the 
natives. Nor do I think their pictures of the people so extrava- 
gantly colored as some later writers would have us believe. 
There is a modesty and refinement, extending far into the lower 
classes, and, accompanying these qualities, a far greater regard for 
truth than is generally found among orientals. Unfortunately, 


this remark cannot hold good in regard to official intercourse in ^ 
a country where intrigue is an ai"m of the Government. 

But Japan is a country full of contradictions, according to our 
standard. It is pretty certain that female virtue stands quite as 
high among that people as among any other, and higher than in 
some western countries ; and yet accompanying this we find 
parents selling their daughters to licensed houses of prostitution, 
which abound to a great extent, showing that any excess of 
virtue in one sex is perhaps counterbalanced in the other. As 
repulsive as is this Japanese feature of the social evil, it carries] 
with it mitigating circumstances which are wanting in otheJ 
countries. The victims, who are always from the lower classes! 
are sold from poverty, and being themselves entirely irresponsi4 
ble for their position, none of the disgrace attaches to them which' 
drags the unfortunates of the West into the lowest depths ; on 
the contrary, they are sold in childhood for a limited number of 
years, and as the proprietors of the establishments are obliged to 
have them instructed in every branch of female education, they 
often marry into the class in which they were born. Parallels 
to both these modes of entering and leaving this kind of life are 
not wanting even among the families of poor officials in some 
parts of eastern Europe. The anomaly is in the laws which per- 
mit in the husband that which they punish with death in the 

Japanese houses are built on one model, differing chiefly in size 
and costliness of material, while, from the palace down, there 
reigns a rigid simplicity in form and furniture. The frequency 
of earthquakes necessitates the use of the lightest materials, and 
these are wood and paper, and with these substances the danger 
from fire is so great that costly ornamentation would be thrown 
away. According to Sir R. Alcock, fires in Yeddo are so frequent 
that the whole city is burned down and rebuilt every seven years, 
and the same rule probably holds in other towns. Fire insur- 
ance is unknown, and though there are brave and well-organized 
fire-brigades, they can, with their small hand-pumps, do little to 
stay a conflagration raging in such light materials. 

The dwellings are one or two stories high, with a verandah 
running all around. The size of the rooms is regulated by t hg 
number of mats ; and as these are always six feet long by t hree 

136 ACROSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. ix. 

wide, the area of the room must b e planned to admit a given 
number of whole mats. The rooms are divided by sliding doors 
of paper, stretched on a slight frame, which rolls easily in grooved 
beams in the floor and beneath the ceiling. These doors often 
foi-m the only partition walls, and by removing them the whole 
building may be thrown into one room. The mats are made up 
of several layers of coarse matting, covered by one of a fine white 
grass, the whole being about two inches thick, and bound at the 
sides with a border of dark cloth. This forms a firm and elastic 
covering for the floor. The wood-work of the outside is painted 
black, when painted at all ; but, in the interior, wax, oil and lacquer 
are used to produce ornamental effect, in connection with the 
grain of the wood. Beams of the ceiling and upright posts are 
often carved, but more generally lacquered or waxed ; sometimes 
the timber is only partially squared, a portion of the bark being 
left on, and a curious effect produced by lacquering this with 
the rest. The paper of the sliding doors is often a picture-gallery 
in itself, representing landscapes, or birds and flowers, often ad- 
mirably done in ink or colors. 

Nearly every room has one end devoted to a recess, one-half 
of which is a closet for mattrasses, etc., in bed-rooms, and the 
other half a niche with a hanging scroll, bearing a picture or 
verses ; underneath this stands a low rack for swords. The 
rooms are heated with charcoal, either in an elegant bronze bra- 
zier, or in an iron pot in a box of sand, sunk into the floor. 

Thus easily is the furniture of a Japanese room summed up. 
As simple as it is, these houses have the chai'm of neatness. No 
dust is visible, least of all on the floor; and if the rooms look 
empty, they also look airy. The reader will have remarked the 
absence of chairs and tables — of these the Japanese has no need. 
Never stepping on a mat other than in his stockings, he always 
has a clean floor to sit on ; and here, with shins doubled under 
him, and using the hollow of the feet for a chair, the native will 
sit by the hour, smoking and gossiping over tea or saki, or 
playing chess. 

In neatness I do not believe that the Japanese are surpassed 
by any people ; and if " cleanliness is next to godliness," cer- 
tainly the daily parboiling to which every one of the population 
submits himself may go far toward absolving them from other 


sins. Every house has its bath— a simple tub, large enough to 
allow one to sit down with the knees doubled. A copper tube 
passing through the water at one end, and having the bottom 
perforated for a draught, contains a little burning charcoal, which 
soon heats the bath. Toward evening this is warmed, and the 
household, beginning with the master and ending with the ser- 
vants, take their turns. 

Although every house has its tub, the towns abound in public 
baths, where, for a trifle, a more luxurious scrubbing can be had. 
And these public places are an institution of the country quite as 
remarkable as any other. There is a door marked " for men," 
and one " for women ; " but this distinction ends after crossing 
the threshold, for, on entering, men, women, and children are seen 
scrubbing each other, enjoying cold and hot douches, and mak- 
ing a perfect babel of the room with their loud chattering and 

This custom, shocking as it seems to an European, appears to 
be perfectly compatible with Japanese ideas of modesty and pro- 
priety, and a Japanese lady of undoubted virtue finds nothing 
wrong in the practice. I shall long remember an incident which 
convinced me of the truth of this statement. During my stay at 
one of the mines on Yesso, where there is a hot spring, I went 
one evening with one of the officers of our staff to take a bath. 
The small spring-house had an outer room for servants and 
mi ners, and an inner compartment for the officers and their fami- 
lies ; but this division was only above the water, which ran from 
the spring into a box about three feet deep and eight feet long. 
As we entered the inner compartment we found the wife of the 
chief officer bathing with her children. Before I had time to 
withdraw, the lady came out ; and, politely offering us the bath, 
remarked, that as there would not be room for all of us, she would 
go with the children to the other compartment. The whole 
thing was done so gracefully, and without the slightest embar- 
rassment on her part, that I began to wonder from what direc- 
tion would come the next shock to preconceived ideas of propriety. 
Soni soit qui mal y pense, is perhaps as applicable in a Japanese 
public bath as in the galleries of sculpture of the Vatican. 

Much of the healthful effect of the daily bath is neutralized by 
the absence of under-clothing that can be often changed, as white 

138 AOSOSS AMEBIC A AND ASIA. [chap. ix. 

Tinder-garments may not be worn by any one beneath the rank 
of a Buiiio. 

It is possible that the prevalence of skin diseases, to which the 
Japanese are subject, is in some manner connected with the bath- 
system. Besides the common itch, there is a kind of similar 
disease, peculiar to the country, I believe, which is very obstinate 
and difficult of- cure. The whole empire seems to enjoy a healthy 
climate, which has generally secured them from epidemics. These 
have however sometimes swept over the country ; and among 
them measles, apparently epidemic, appears to have been the 
most common. Notwithstanding the proximity of Japan to 
China, which is one of the centres of cholera, there appears to have 
been but one cholera season previous to the opening of the ports. 
This freedom from the great Asiatic scourge is certainly remark- 
able, when we consider that, although houses and streets are 
exceedingly clean, the practice of preparing liquid manure in 
large open cisterns, of which there is one in every field, would 
with us be thought sufficient of itself to generate the disease. 
At certain seasons, indeed generally, this custom makes it almost 
impossible to enjoy a country walk unless one be gifted with 
enduring nostrils. If it be true that the germ of cholera is a 
fungoid body, transmitted through the air, one might expect to 
find it brought by the S. W. monsoons from the delta of China. 
What the wind can do as a medium of transportation is well 
illustrated by its power of carrying dust and volcanic ashes to a 
distance of hundreds of miles. On the 31st of March, and 1st of 
April, 1863, there was a great dust-storm on the plain around 
Peking, in which people lost their lives. The air was darkened, 
and the dust fell several inches deep, the wind being from the 
northwest. During the same days the air was filled with a dust 
fog at Shanghai, and at Nagasaki, where I then was. At Na- 
gasaki the wind blew from the west, and during both days what 
appeared at first to be a fog obscured the sun just enough to 
permit one to distinguish the spots on its red disc with the naked 
eye. On the third day it was found that a deposit of dust had 
settled, so fine as to be imperceptible excepting on the fresh white 
paint of a yacht. 

This phenomenon occurring at Nagasaki, more than 700 miles 
from its source, was observed at points much more distant at sea. 


These dust storms had been supposed to have their origin on the 
Gobi desert; but I found in 1864, -while travelling beyond the 
great wall of China, between the Gobi and the plain of Peking, 
that the strong northwest winds blowing from the desert reached 
th.e plain quite free from dust, and that it was not until it struck 
the cultivated plains of northern China, at a season when the dry 
loamy soil was unprotected by crops, that it raised great vol- 
umes of dust, similar to that described. The dry climate of north- 
ern China is comparatively free from cholera. 

ijurmg all my travels in Japan I noticed only one case of 
goitre. It is true that I did not visit any limestone regions, but a 
great part of the population live in shaded and damp valleys; so 
damp that a freshly-polished boot is covered with mould in forty- 
eight hours. If there be any connection between absence of 
iodine and presence of goitre, it may be that the universal con- 
sumption of sea-weed as food, or presence of iodine in water com- 
ing from the recently raised marine volcanic tufa which prevails 
on the coast, may have something to do with the immunity the 
Japanese enjoy from this disease. Goitre abounds in the lime- 
stone hills west of Peking, in a very dry climate. 

That tape-worms do not oorae from pork only, would seem to 
follow from the statement of a Japanese officer at Hakodade, 
that officials sent from Teddo to Tesso generally become troubled 
with these parasites. The Japanese eat little meat, never pork 
in any form, but they are not so scrupulous with regard to bear's 
flesh. Troubles of the eyes are common, and many blind people 
are seen in the streets, recognizable by their shaven heads and 
long sticks. 

That the Japanese do not die off en masse, is no fault of 
their physicians, for these are little more advanced than their 
brethren in China, and in the latter country the most profound 
ignorance of anatomy and physiology rules, at least among the 
old-school doctors. A considerable number of physicians now 
practice medicine as learned from good Dutch teachers and foreign 
works on the subject ; but in view of the great difficulty that at- 
tends the study of the body, by the aid of dissection, in Japan, 
their knowledge is not deep. 

Although pills to insure longevity form part of the Japanese 
materia medica, immense cemeteries prove that even long lives 

140 A0S0S8 AMEBIC A AND ASIA. [chap, ix 

must end. These cities of the dead were always interesting to 
me. Often built on the side of a hill, covering a large area, and 
commanding a fine view, their neatly-kept avenues offer the place 
for quiet walks, where one is sure to find none of the revolting 
sights so common in similar places in China. In all that relates 
to their dead, the Japanese exhibit a refinement one does not expect 
to find out of Christian countries. Thus we find great care bestowed 
on the tombs, and much taste and art displayed in their construc- 
tion. Thousands of small paved terraces, surrounded by stone 
balustrades, form family lots containing commemorative stones of 
eveiy shape and size, and every variety of proper ornamentation. 
The sculptured inscriptions in the Chinese character always excit- 
ed my admiration, the execution being much more finished than is 
common with us. 

On the night of the festival corresponding to All Souls' Day, 
the cemeteries are illuminated with myriads of lanterns, which, 
seen from a distance, produce the effect of as many openings into 
a mountain burning within. Cremation and interment seem to be 
about equally practiced, though it does not appear which is the 
more ancient custom. 

But the reverence they show for death does not prevent the 
Japanese from getting all the enjoyment they can command out 
of life. Festivals abound : there would seem to be one for every 
temple; and in the absence of these, holidays, marriages, theatres, 
performances of jugglers, acrobats, and wrestlers, furnish the need 
ed excitement for the people. In pleasant weather, picnics, on 
water and land, enlivened with music, are an unfailing resource. 

The wrestlers appear to be retainers of daimios, and are trained 
from youth to their occupation. They are certainly men of great 
strength, but it was always a question with me how strength 
could exist under such masses of fat as they seem to be made of. 
In their exhibitions they are naked, excepting a belt drawn tightly 
around the loins, forming the only means of obtaining a firm 
hold of each other. It is doubtful whether they are as strong as 
the more muscular native stevedores, who trot along all day, bear- 
ing two or three hundred pounds of tea or copper, in loading 
ships. Among the Japanese acrobats and contortionists, one may 
see nearly all the feats familiar to similar performers with us, 
and many others, requiring great skill and courage, and the jug- 


glers are probably not excelled by their bi-ethren of India and 
Europe, in tricks that require extreme delicacy of manipulation. 

The theatre is considered one of the best reflectors of the pop- 
ular mind. In Japan, as in China, the performances begin early 
in the day, and end late at night, the large audiences showing how 
popular is this amusement. The plots are nearly always in- 
trigues at court, resulting in promotion or death of the heroes, or 
the exploits of great warriors and robbers. The public taste de- 
mands, and is gratified by,the profuse display of gory heads and 
dripping swords. The favorite pieces contain a great deal of 
" blood and murder," and not unfrequently scenes that border on 
extreme grossness, which are viewed with as little embarrassment 
by neatly-dressed matrons and daughters as the sallies of " Gen- 
evieve de Brabant," or the "Grande Duchesse" excite in a western 
audience. The same vein seems to run through the immense range 
of light literature, illustrated with woodcuts, that often approach 
the obscene. Although I have been told by Japanese that the fami- 
lies of the upper classes do not witness this kind of theatrical rep- 
resentations, and are guarded against access to corresponding 
works of fiction, still there is no doubt that there reigns through- 
out the female population an absence of that moral refinement 
which, with us, is considered so necessary as a safeguard for 
female purity. 

The ruling vice in Japan is, und oubtedly, drunkenness. It per- 
vades all classes, though it is confined by the force of public 
opinion to the male sex. On a festival of the third day of the 
third month women are indeed allowed great license, and in their 
harems, from which on that day even their lords are excluded, 
they may indulge to any extent in the forbidden cup; but a 
woman of the lower class who should be found drunk at any 
other time, would expose herself to a severe beating from her 
husband, while were she of the higher class she might die by the 
sword of her spouse. The only fermented liquor used is, I believe, 
the saki, distilled from rice, and differing from the Chinese tiu or 
samshu in that while it is weaker it often contains much of the 
poisonous oil of distillation. It is always taken warm, and the 
better kind is not disagreeable to the taste. Few Japanese are 
fit for business in the evening, and during the afternoon many 
streets in Yeddo are rendered wholly unsafeHBy the troops' of 

142 AOBOSa AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. ix. 

drunken retainers , whose drawn swords are the terror of the 
inhabitants. ' """" ' 

With alT their faults the Japanese are a generous people, brave, 
and capable of enduring great hardships, imaginative and impul- 
sive rather than reasoning ; while in their enthusiastic attempts to 
learn foreign sciences and arts they contrast strongly with the 
Chinese, and promise perhaps a rapid and progressive revolution 
in their civilization. 

M AUa^ial ar^ B.a,. Y.X. ^n^lcanie A.kes. 0. Gra.eU. UJT. lie.e.U Terra... L.Lara. TSX Tafa Conylo..rate V:,. Pu^i. T.rfa. -Y. Coal. 

Ar. 3Ieta,aorflh'c Argillitc. Q. Qaartzite. SI. Cg. Clay Slate, and Conglo.aerutc. C.G. tonrjlo;nerale and Granahle 

A.V. Aphanitu- Rock. Gr. Granitic and S;ienite Scric:. 



Bidding good-by to our hospitable friends, Messrs. Brower 
and Benson, and to Dr. Simmons, to whose kindness I owed much 
of the pleasure of my visit, we sailed on the " Ringleader " for 
Yesso, and entered the harbor of Hakodade after a short and 
pleasant voyage. This town, the northernmost of the open ports, 
is built on the foot-slope of a rugged peak of trachyte, which, 
rising 1,150 feet, overlooks the straits of Tsungara, and com- 
mands a view of the hills of Nipon. This island-like peak is con- 
nected with Tesso by a low sandy neck, thas forming a harbor 
several miles broad, and accessible for the largest vessels. 

Quarters were assigned us at the custom-house pending the 
building of a house suitable for our dwelling, offices, laboratory, 

As the object of our engagement with the Government was 
the exploration of its lands on the island of Yesso, and the intro- 
duction, if found advisable, of foreign methods of mining and 
working metals, it became necessary to make a general tour of 
observation through those lands. Accordingly, on the 23dof May, 
we set out on our first official journey. The Government had 
attached to us a staff of five officers, who were at the same time 
assistants, escorts, and pupils. Two of these, Takeda and Oosima, 
were chosen as having distinguished themselves in the study and 
application of European science ; two others, Tachi and Yuwao, 
were officers of the mining department of the revenue office; 
the fifth, Miagawa, accompanied us in the capacity of both inter- 
preter and student. Besides these, an ometzki was sent, nominally, 
and I believe really, to either control or advise the officers. 

With our servants we made a train of eleven horsemen as we 
rode through the long paved street of Hakodade. 

Crossing by the sand neck to the main island, we cantered 
over the firm beach to Arikawa, passing through straggling 


hamlets of fishermen. Here oil was being made from tons of 
reeking herrings, and we threaded our way among a labyrinth of 
drying nets, and under myriads of noisy ravens and croWs. 
These birds enjoy absolute security in all Japan. 

Welcome as scavengers, they are little feared by the farmer 
who by a simple contrivance frightens them from the crops of 
his small fields. I never see a crow without being reminded of 
a manner of killing them I saw practiced in Corsica. Small cones 
of stiff paper, with pieces of meat glued in the bottom, and 
smeared with glue above these, are placed opfen-end up in holes 
in the field. The unsuspecting raven, plunging its beak deep 
into the meat, draws forth not only the morsel but the enclosing 
cone, glued to the feathers of its neck ; thus blinded the bird rises 
in the air till it falls exhausted near the place where it was 

A broad crescent-shaped plain half encircles the bay of Hako- 
dade, and rises gently from the water to the wooded hills of the 
interior; its green surface, covered with a' heavy growth of tall, 
rank grasses, forms, as seen from Hakodade, a beautiful middle 
ground between sea and mountain. 

Leaving the beach we ascended the Ari, a small river, to the 
village of Ono, on a broad, swampy plain, one of the few places 
on Yesso where agriculture is followed. 

Until within a few years the island formed the domain of the 
Prince of Matsmai ; but by an imperial decree it was subdivided 
among the five lords of Matsmai, Sendai, Tsungara, Nambu, and 
Awa, the Government retaining a considerable part for itself. It 
was inhabited only on the coast by fishennen ; and as the proceeds 
of their labor were very profitable, all other pursuits seem to have 
been forbidden. Since the partition, the Government has turned 
its attention to colonization from Nipon, and to the encourage- 
ment of all the occupations necessary to develop its resources. 
With this end in view, it has offered many inducements to farmers 
and others, supplying them with land at a reasonable rate, and 
distributing among them horses, for which they are bound to 
furnish relays to ofiicials travelling on Government business. 
Thus at Ono there are already several farms cultivating an in- 
ferior kind of hardy rice, and enough silk is produced to supply 
the raw material for a factory. . ■ . - 


From Ono we sent back our own horses, and the next morning 
began our experience with the vicious brutes of the country, which, 
being unaccustomed to foreigners, did all they could to throw us. 
The Japanese horses are small and strong, but badly built, and are 
evidently the degenerate offspring of the Tartar stock. As they 
are always stallions, their worst qualities are generally the most 
apparent. There is an improved breed on Nipon, which supplies 
really superior animals for the stables of the daimios and high 
officers. The frame of the Japanese saddle is very similar to that 
used by the Chinese, and, like that, is derived from the Tartars, 
who seem to have furnished the model for saddle-trees to all 
the world, if we except the English variety. After a short ride 
through a wooded valley we reached the lead mines of Ichin- 
owatari, lying at the entrance to a rocky ravine containing a 
wild mountain torrent. 

The ore is galena, associated with zinc blende, iron pyrites and 
copper pyrites, the body of the veinstone being mainly magnesite, 
while the rocks enclosing the veins are calcareous argillites and a 
greenstone. In all Japanese mines the absence of pumping ma- 
chinery prevents mining to any considerable depth below the 
level of the adit. The galleries were tolerably well timbered, 
though low and narrow. Owing to ignorance of the use of pow- 
der in blasting, their means of attacking the rock were — till the 
application of powder in mining was introduced by us — confined 
to the use of pointed instruments : a miner's pick with one point, 
a hammer, and a gad with handle, completing the outfit. The 
ore is roughly assorted by hand, and then passed under dry 

I was not a little surprised to find, in the mountains of Japan, 
stamps constructed on the same principle as those of Cornwall and 
Germany, though far inferior in point of efficiency. They were 
worked by an overshot water-wheel, turning a cam shaft. The 
stamped ore is sifted and sent to the washing house, where it is 
concentrated in wooden pans, generally by women, to a very pure 
schlich. The furnace in which the ore is smelted is a cavity in 
the ground lined with a mixture of charcoal and clay, and forming 
a crucible, about fourteen inches broad by ten inches deep, with 
imder-drains. In front there is an earthen shield to reflect the 
force of the blast, which enters through a clay nozzle from a box- 

14:6 AOB0S8 AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. x. 

bellows. The smoke and fumes of lead and sulphur pass off 
through a chimney. 

In smelting, the crucible is filled with burning charcoal, and on 
this is thrown the ore to the amount of eighty pounds. When 
this is about half melted, twenty-five or thirty pounds of pig4ron 
is added in small pieces, to combine with the sulphur of the galena, 
and when this is partially effected the whole is stirred. After 
about two hours the blast is stopped, the coals are withdrawn, and 
water is thrown on the bath to cool the first layer of matte. This 
is repeated six or seven times, till the surface of the lead is free, 
when the metal is cast into bars, the matte being thrown away. 
-In this operation we have the simplest form of the " precipitation" 
process, the Mederschlag Arbeit of the Germans. 

These mines are very poor, their greatest production having 
been in 1860, when during a few months it averaged 600 pounds 
of lead daily. At the time of my visit it was about 80 pounds. 
As a curiosity I give below a schedule of the daily expenses at 
these mines : 

Thirty miners, averaging 6 cents eacli $1 80 

Thirty coolies, at 8 cents each 3 40 

Seven overseers, at 5 cents each 35 

One carpenter, 8 cents 8 

Twenty-six ore-dressers, averaging 3 cents each 78 

Two men at the stamps, at 4 cents euch ' 8 

One smelter, 8 cents 8 

Two smelter assistants, at 4 cents each , 8 

Two hundred pounds of charcoal, 17 .cents , 17 

Thirty jjonnds of inferior pig-iron, 16 

$5 98 
Rations of rice and miso, a substance used for soup, are supplied 
to the workmen. Low as are these wag€s, they are higher than 
in the mining districts of Nipon. 

Leaving the mines, we returned to the main road and ascended 
the water-shecl of the peninsula which divides Volcano bay from 
the straits of Tsungara. The top of the ridge commands a fine 
view, reaching on the south across the straits to the hills of 
Nipon, while in the north rises the volcano of Komangadake, 
with a beautiful lake nestling in the wood and meadow at the foot 
of the long slope of the cone. A vegetation almost tropical in 
its luxuriance, overhangs- the banks of this picturesque water. 


Riding a short distance beyond the lake we stopped at Skunope 
for the night. Here we were kept waiting one day, owing to tlie 
failure of the warden of the village next beyond, to provide 
horses. I must remark that this was the only instance in which 
we were delayed on any of our journeys in Japan from this cause, 
and it appears that the delinquent in this case was severely pun- 
ished for the neglect. A courier always preceded us by two or 
three days, bearing a requisition for horses, and notifying the inns 
at which we were to stay, to receive no other guests. On the 
journey a messenger Avas seat out every evening to give addition- 
al notice. As this was our first official journey, the Government 
had ordered that We should receive the same honors in passing 
through towns, that are shown to the Governor on his annual 
trip. Thus we were met by the wardens of villages at the town 
limits, sometimes two or three miles distant from the houses. 
These men coming on foot, went down on their knees as the train 
approached, and then, after touching the ground with their fore- 
heads, jumped up and led the way to the inn. Independent of 
the fact that a European must feel more disgusted than honored, 
by having a man kneel before him in the dust and mud, these 
men were a great nuisance, as Japanese ideas of dignity required 
us to follow them at a walking pace. 

Japanese despotism has trained the people very thoroughly in 
the art of falling instantaneously on their marrow-bones. It is 
astonishing to see the eifect of the magic word " sWtaniro ! " 
" kneel " upon a dense crowd, when a person of high ranli is pass- 
ing ; as if by enchantment every gaping, laughing, and chatter- 
ing native is prostrated, and a deep silence reigns, broken only 
by the jingling rings on the warden's iron staff, and the solemnly- 
repeated warning, sKtaniro ! sKtaniro ! 

In most of the villages we found small heaps of white sand 
scattered along the streets, which we were told was intended as an 
honor for us. 

On the second morning our horses came, and we set out on the 
way to the volcano. As we were obliged to pass through, the 
intervening forest, a party of coolies went before us with axes, to 
clear a route through the underbrush. For several miles we were 
in a dense wood in which the predominating trees were noble 
specimens of magnolia, beech, birch, maple, and oak, with large 

148 ACROSS AMERICA AND ^ ASIA. [chap, x 

vines of grape, ivy, etc., twisted around their trunks and hanging 
from the boughs. 

We came out of the forest at the beginning of the gentle foot- 
slope of the mountain, and found ourselves on a bed of pumice 
that extended from where we stood to the summit of the volcano, 
in the shape of a stream several hundred yards wide. Leaving 
the horses here we began the ascent over the surface of the pumice- 
stream; it was easy enough at first, but the slope soon became 
steeper, and we made slow progress during. the last half of the 
ascent over the loose material. trunks of dead trees, some 
fallen and others standing, surrounded with pumice several feet 
above the root, showed that a growth of heavy timbisr once cov- 
ered the sides of this mountain and was killed by an eruption. 

We reached the edge of the crater at a point below the highest 
peak, the latter being 3, "779 feet above the sea, according to the 
niarine charts. I was told that this volcano was formerly a more 
perfect cone of greater height than at present, but that seven or 
eight years before our visit, it fell in ; the occurrence was accom- 
panied, or preceded, by a severe earthquake and an eruption of 
hot water and pumice, causing the loss of several lives at a dis- 
tance of several miles. The ashes of this eruption were carried, 
by the higher air-currents, to tlie Kurile islands, the nearest of 
which is about 250 miles distant in a northeasterly direction. 
The crater is now several hundred feet deep, with steep walls, 
and entirely open toward the sea on the east side. Its bottom 
is formed by a broad plain elevated in the centre — a rudimentary 
inner cone — which extends with an unbroken slope through the 
opening down to the sea-shore. 

This plain is traversed in all directions by great cracks, distin- 
guishable, from the summit, by rows of steam jets issuing from 
between their raised red-and-yellow edges. 

The view from Komangadake is grand. On our left the shore 
of the beautiful Volcano bay forms a long and sweeping curve, 
while parallel to this the mountains in the background, covered 
with dense forests, appear in all the shades of green, blue, and 
purple as they stretch away toward the distant horizon. Far 
away over the bay, rising as it were from the sea, are several 
symmetrical cones, long extinct, while nearer, though seemingly 
among them, rises the semi-active Oussu volcano in ruins, its 


Biilphur-coated cliffs glistening, even at this distance, in the sun- 

Although it -was the 29th of May a few patches of snow still re- 
mained in the inner ravines of Komangadake. 

Following a talus of pumice we descended into the crater and 
crossed the plain to a point where the largest volume of vapor 
was emitted. This, as we found, arose from an inner crater or pit 
about 600 feet in diameter, with precipitous sides exhibiting the 
stratification of the pumice plain. We examined next Ihe long 
cracks that marked the surface of the plain like a network of gigan- 
tic mole-hills. In approaching these, the ground trembled and 
answered with a hollow sound to each foot-step. The crevices, 
often open, are in places closed over at the top by a deceitful arch 
of sulphur and drifted sand. Breaking through these arches we 
exposed gorgeous cavities lined with dense, yellow masses of 
sulphur crystals too delicate to bear the shock of a breath. The 
action of the steam, charged with sulphuretted hydrogen and 
sulphurous acid, has altered the pumice near the cracks to a bright- 
red clay, and formed efflorescences of iron-salts, and alum. 

The appearances are that this mountain has been a ruined cone, 
which was rebuilt by an eruption of purnice, to be again broken 
down, and its skeleton of trachyte given over to the mighty level- 
ing force of solfatara gases. 

As we were cantering homeward through the woods, in single 
file, an incident occurred which might have caused the death of 
one of the party. 

As I was riding at a brisk gallop, a short distance in advance 
of the others, I saw, too late to avoid it, a grape-vine hanging 
like a swing forty or more feet long, and its lower end just high 
enough from the ground to strike my stomach. To cry out a 
warning to those behind, and give the swing a push into the air, 
was the work of an instant, but it was too late ; the returning 
vine embraced Takeda, and, as I looked back, his horse had gone 
from under him, while the force of the shock expended itself in 
causing him to make several somersaults around the loop prepar- 
atory to a tremendous flap on the ground. His swords had fallen 
from the scabbards, and he narrowly escaped being transfixed by 
one of them,, which stood point up, its hilt buried in the moss. 

The road from Skunope to Volcano bay led us through a dense 


forest of maguificent trees, over two or three swamps -which we 
. crossed on corduroy roads, and along the banks of a small lake 
whose surface was covered with water-plants, and its edges 
hidden under drooping foliage. The last few miles of the way 
lay through a more scanty growth of small trees springing from 
a soil of less decomposed pumice. Finally we came to the shore 
of Volcano bay. This truly beautiful arm of the ocean received 
its name from the three volcanos that rise on its circumference, 
and the fact that as many more perfect cones of extinct volcanos 
are visible from its centre, renders the name appropriate. The 
Japanese call it Edomo bay. 

Turning eastward we skirted the southern shore, and passed 
the base of Komangadake (called also Sawaradake), which slopes 
gently into the sea, deflecting the shore line in a semicircle 
toward the north. The northern sloj^e of the mountain was for- 
merly covered to near the summit with a heavy growth of timber, 
represented now by a forest of dead trunks extending over many 
thousands of acres. Tlie trees were probably killed by a shower 
of hot pumice, which still covers the surface to the depth of from 
six to twenty-four inches. On most of the trunks the bark 'is 
intact, showing no signs of the action of a high degree of heat. 
Seven or eight years had passed since the destroying shower, and 
a fresh undergrowth was starting, among whicli creeping plants, 
apparently the first to spring into life, were already winding their 
spiral course around myriads of dead giants. 

Sections of the soil exposed in gullies showed that this last 
shower was only one of a long series, some of which were on a 
much greater scale, and must have carried destruction over a far 
wider area. 

At a short distance from the foot of the mountain slope we 
reached the hot sulphur springs of Shkabe. There are several 
springs rising on the beach, and in a small rivulet. They are' 
housed over and visited by many invalids, who parboil themselves 
in water where the thermometer rises to VO and 15 .degrees of 
the centigrade scale, or 167 degrees F. No people are fonder 
of tlie use of hot springs', both for pleasure and as remedial agents, 
than are the Japanese, and in no country are they more abundant 
than in this group of volcanic islands. 

Beyond Shkabe we left tlie semi-circular plain which surrounds 


the volcano, and our ■way now lay along the shore, the gentle 
surf from the sea playing around the feet of our horses, while on 
our right hand arose the green hills of the peninsula. 

The sandy beach was in places covered Avith a thick layer of 
the black grains of magnetic iron concentrated by the surf, from 
the detritus of volcanic rocks, containing a small per-centage only 
of that mineral. 

Leaving the sea-shore at the m^outh of the Kakumi creek, we 
ascended this stream, whose clear waters, flowing over a bed of 
snow-white porphyry, looked like milk. A short ride brought us 
to the buildings of the Kakumi mines. The day of our arrival 
here was the festival of children. Before the dwelling of the 
officer in charge of the mines, a dragon and fish were flying at the 
top of a long pole, and the presents to the baby-son of the house 
were displayed in the entry ; they consisted of toys in imitation 
of the various insignia of high military rank. Kakumi also has 
its warm spring. 

The next day we visited the mines, neither of which were being 
worked. The first, a gold mine, gave little promise, even with the 
cheap labor of the country, and we began a long walk up the 
creek to the other, which had been opened on a copper vein. There 
was no road and rarely a path, much of our way lying in the bed 
of the stream or through a dense underbrush di-ipping with the 
night's rain. This vein, which had been explored by an adit, con- 
tained copper pyrites to an extent which would not justify work 
in a country where labor and materials are dear, but which ren- 
dered a profit possible in Yesso. Being surprised by a heavy 
shower on our way back, I was not a little amused at the readi- 
ness with which the Japanese improvised umbrellas by covering 
themselves with the immense leaves of a large plant, resembling 
the dock, growing to the height of nine or ten feet, with leaves 
several feet in diameter. On this occasion, and Subsequently, I 
found in them an excellent substitute for both umbrella .and rain- 
coat. The Japanese always carry rain-coats of strong oiled paper 
or silk, w hich are light and tolerably durable as well as cheap , 
qualities w hich are also combined in their paper umbrellas. 

From Kakumi we returned to the bay, and riding eastward to 
■\Yosatsube, embarked in a boat, the precipitous character of the 
shore rendering it impossible to continue by land, even on foot. 

152 A0B0S8 AMMEICA AND ASIA. [chap, x 

Here a low, point of fantastically curved beds of hornstone breaks 
.he surf. Our boat was worked by sixteen oars and sculls, and 
the strong arms of the boatmen made it fly over the water, keeping, 
time in its vibrations to the swaying and the song of the naked 

Added to the charm of novelty, this water journey had that of 
the wildly picturesque coast scenery. The boat kept as close as pos- 
sible to the shore, in its shade indeed. Far down in the clear waters 
we could see great rocks surrounded by darkness, and covered 
with sea-weed in leaves fifty feet long, almost motionless in the 
deep. Every now and then a trough of the rolling swell would 
lay bare, in the whirling waters, some rock taller than the rest, 
carpeted with a dense mass of sea-moss, shells, and sea-anemones, 
brilliant with splendid colors, which show their beauty for a min- 
ute to the daylight, to be reburied in a whirlpool of returning 
waves. Cliifs hundreds of feet high, of brown, columnar lava, rise 
from the deep, caverns resound the thunder of the waves, while 
great stains of red and black are half hidden by the green masses 
of moss, vines, and flowers that find root-hold even on the face of the 
precipice. Add to these the many waterfalls leaping from the 
woods above to the sea below, a clear blue sky and the graceful 
column of vapor rising from the distant volcano, and you have a 
faint outline of the scenes through which our wild and naked sail- 
ors made us skim over the waves. 

The rocks forming the shore cliffs are volcanic tufa conglom-- 
erate deposited under the sea, and containing lava-streams all of 
trachytic origin. The skeleton of the peninsula, however, is made 
up of very old clay slates and sandstone, with massive bodies of 

We landed in a little bight at the fishing hamlet of Totohoke, 
und.the next morning began, on horseback, the ascent of the vol- 
cano of Esan, a very active solfatara lying at the eastern point 
of the peninsula. As the mountain is barely 2,000 feet high, and 
the entrance to the crater much lower, we soon reached the Govern- 
ment sulphur-works. 

Although Esan must once have been a volcano of large size, 
and the source of the great deposits which form the sea-margin 
for several miles, I saw in its crater and walls no pumice and no 
rocks readily recognizable as products of recent eruptions. On 


the contrary, it is a volcano in ruins, and in whiclr the destructive 
agencies are still working on a grand scale. The large crater is 
divided by a high ridge of detritus, and in both the compartments 
thus formed, countless jets and columns of steam and gases issue 
from the wall, from the detritus, and from the vaulted mud-vents. 
The air is loaded with sulphurous acid, and a small stream of 
limpid water, which issues from the crater, is strongly impregnated 
with the same acid and with astringent salts. 

The walls of the crater are rapidly disintegrating and falling, to 
be converted into clay, impregnated with sulphur, alum, and other 
salts, products of the action of acid and steam on each other and 
on the rocks they are decomposing. Everywhere the scene is 
one of ruin. Here is visible on a grand scale the decomposing 
action of sulphurous acid and steam, the eifects of which are seen 
in the altered trachytic rocks of Hungary, and still progressing 
on a smaller scale in the Neapolitan solfatara. Nowhere have I 
seen so well exhibited the levelling power of nature when she 
brings into steady action her more active agents. Steam sur- 
rounded us on all sides, issuing in jets from the sides of the crater 
and rising slowly out of the taluses of debris, as the smoke rises 
slowly and silently from the ruins of a mighty conflagration. 

The main vents are small mud-craters or geysers in the centre 
of one of the compartments of the great crater. They are 
springs or pits, each covered by a great vault of hardened mud, 
like an immense bubble or inverted bowl, from ten to twenty -five 
feet high, the sides and roof from six inches to two feet thick. 
They quake with the constant reverberation of the struggling 
gases and mud, the last rising to near the surface, and sometimes 
bursting out in a shower of thick drops. Through the small open- 
ings in these vaults issue volumes of steam, highly charged with 
sulphuretted hydrogen, and at intervals glimpses of the interior 
exhibit the surface lined with sulphur in massive layers, splen- 
did with crystals or drooping with long stalactites of the yellow 

From one of these vaults I traced a mud stream, evidently the 
last feeble attempt at an eruption, and the date of this was not 
known to the sulphur-diggers. Whenever new vents are formed, 
mud and large masses of rock are ejected with miich violence. 

The sulphur works are supplied from the talus formed by the 


ever-tailing walls of the crater, and this material contains from 
twenty-five to sixty per cent, of sulphur in layers and impregna- 
tions. Without further preparation than being broken into 
pieces, it is melted in iroa pots, where the impurities sink to the 
bottom, and the top is ladled out into shallow depressions in the 
ground and left to cool. As this product is still impure, it is re- 
melted in similar pots and then strained through sacks into tubs, 
where it cools. The blocks thus obtained are broken, and the 
centre, whicli is yelloAV and highly crystaline, goes to market ; 
while the surface, to the depth of one or two inches, being dark 
and perhaps less pure, is re-melted. The production amounted at 
the timeof my visit to about 6,600 pounds daily. According to 
the books at the works, the cost of production amounted to about 
S6,43 .per ton of 2,000 lbs., the same quantity selling for $24 
in the Hakodade market. 

Leaving this scene of destruction, we descended to Nietanai, on 
the shore of the straits of Tsungara. The next morning, riding 
along the sea-shore, between Nietanai and Kobi, I discovered in 
the bluff a deposit of white infusorial earth, specimens of which 
I submitted to Mr. Arthur M. Edwards. The results of that 
gentleman's investigation * are exceedingly interesting, bringing 
to liffht a close resemblance between the organisms contained in 
this deposit and those m the stratum under liichmond, Va., and a 
still greater similarity, extending to identity of species with those 
of the extensive deposit in California. 

At Kobi, as at many points on the coast, large quantities of 
iuagnetic-iron sand are concentrated on the beach by the surf,and 
a bed of the same material, much oxidized, crops out in the bluff 
deposits, which are themselves raised beaches. The Imperial 
Government, wishing to manufacture cannon for the defence of 
Yesso against tlie Russians, commanded Takeda, an officer aftei-- 
ward attached to us, and one who had done much to advance 
in his country the knowledge of military engineering and navi- 
gation, to build a furnace on the foreign plan, for the purpose 
of smelting this ore. Such a thing had never been seen by a 
Japanese, but without further plans or specifications than were 
given in a Dutch work on chemistry, Takeda built a fur- 

* See Mr. Edwards' letter, in appendix No. 3 to " Geological Besearclics in Cliina, Mon- 
golia, and Japan," by tlie author. Smithsonian Institution,' 186S. 



nace about thirty feet liigli, after a really fine model, with a cyl- 
inder blast, moved by an excellent water-wheel. Unfortunately, 
owing to the absence of all details on the subject in the only 
book he had, the blast was far too weat, and the bricks not suffi- 
ciently refractory. The furnace thus proved a failure, aftei 
smelting a few hundred-weight of iron. The incident, however, 
will serve as an illustration of Japanese enterprise. Another of 
our officers, Oosima, by dint of repeated experiments, carried 
a similar undertaking to a more successful issue in the province 
of Xambu. 

The southern side of the peninsula is entirely diffisrent from the 
northern. Facing Volcano bay the rocks are volcanic, overhang- 
ing the coast in high cliffs, which form the abrupt termination of 
a densely-wooded table-land or terraoe. On the southern side 
the grassy pyramidal or rounded hills of the older metamorphio 
rocks slope off to the straits in the eastern half, while as they 
trend westward they are separated from the sea by a low 
and gently-sloping terrace of recent clay deposits. Both, the 
terrace plain and the southern exposure of the hills are barren of 

Along the shore of the straits we discovered several promising 
veins of copper pyrites in the clay slates already mentioned, and 
in the further exploration of which we subsequently made the 
first application of powder to blasting in Japan. Returning to 
Hakodade we completed the circuit of the peninsula and our first 

We were now detained more than two months at Hakodade 
by the prevalence of measles over all the island, and in the fami- 
lies of the officers attached to us. During this time we gave 
regular instruction to our assistants in the branches bearing on 
mining and metallurgy, an occupation which, at the same time, 
gave me some insight into the intellectual capacity of the class 
represented by these men. The difficulties to be overcome were 
very great, as we wei-e teaching subjects of which but few of the 
technical terms have Japanese equivalents, to students who were 
ignorant of the elementary branches, which necessarily precede 
the study of applied sciences. But they showed generally anxiety 
to learn, as well as rapid comprehension of what was taught. 
Takedahad studied mathematics in Bowditch's " N"avigator," using 

156 ACROSS AMERIdA AND ASIA. [chap, x 

an Englisli-Dutch and a Dutch-Japanese dictionary, and had 
mastered that book so thoroughly that it was literally indexed 
in his mind, and he was able to calculate longitude from an 
eclipse or an occultation as easily as from an altitude or lunar dis- 
tances ; but this knowledge was purely mechanical, and mathe- 
matics from a philosophical point of view was a new field' to him, 
though when he took them up in this spirit he exhibited for the 
study a mental power which I almost envied him. 

Our interviews with the Governoi and his council took place 
alternately at his palace and in our own quarters. At the palace 
they were always accompanied with tea and refreshments, and 
often with a Japanese dinner, while the short pipe of the country 
was in constant use. This is quite an important weapon in 
diplomacy, and a Japanese minister or governor never fails when 
pressed with a question, to gain time for reflection in filling and 
lighting a pipe of their fragrant tobacco. As official interviews 
occur very frequently between the authorities and foreign rej)re- 
sentatives, the former have gradually formed a strong liking for 
European cooking, and in order not to appear ill at ease in the 
use of western table-furniture, the Governor and his council 
had, at times, dinners prepared in European style to practice the 
use of knives, foi-ks, spoons, and glasses, and in giving toasts. 
They are very fond of champagne. , 

The Governor and all the high officers about him were gentle- 
men whose dignified bearing and refinement and suavity of 
manner would grace any western society. And I remarked that, 
as a rule, they showed consideration toward inferiors and ser- 
vants, never exhibiting the passionate outbursts so common 
among Chinese officials, a difiereuce, perhaps, partially arising from 
the consciousness of power with the Japanese. The governors 
never lose self-possession in piesence of the sometimes excited and 
rude language of some westciii representatives. On one occasion, 
in answer to my question whether this self-possession were inborn 
or the result of education, the Governor replied that it is made 
one of the most important features of training, from the earliest 
childhood through life. Indeed, so delicate is the sense of per- 
sonal honor in the official class, that the wounded feelings of an 
equal may easily cause him to retaliate by hara-ldru, thereby 
forcing the offender to perform the same operation. The neccs 


sity for self-control thus rests on a basis not less strong than the 
love of life. 

Formerly, in committing hara-kint, the suicide actually ripped 
open his bowels ; at present, he simply scratches the abdomen, 
di-awing blood, while an attendant, dressed in white, gives the 
death-blow with a sword 



Of tlie Japanese religions, very little is known by Europeans. 
At present, besides many sects of Buddists, we find Sintuisni 
and Confucianism. Toleration has always marked the relations 
between the Government and the followers of different faiths. 
Christianity was, indeed, rooted out, but its priests could blame 
only their own abuse of the encouragement they long received. 

Whatever may have been the earliest religion of the Japanese, 
Sintuism, (Shintau,* Chinese; kaminomitchi, Jap., way of the 
kami, gods or spirits,) was that which formed the basis of the 
spiritual-political government founded by Jinmutenno, iii the 
seventh century B.C. 

From the vague knowledge we have of their cosmogony, it 
should appear that out of nothing there arose a self-created su- 
preme god. But this deity, like Brahma in the Indian trinity, 
withdrew, leaving two other gods to accomplish the material 
creation. The universe was then ruled during myriads of years 
by seven cosmical gods in succession— Ten-sin-szchi-dai. The last 
of these, having a wife, became the progenitor of the human race. 
To create a habitable earth, he plunged his spear into the waters, 
and from the drops which fell congealed from it was formed Ja- 
pan. The government of the world now passed into the hands 
of five successive gods, Dai-sin-go-dai, who during more than 
two million years ruled the earth, and to the last of whom in 
union with a mortal, was born Jinmutenno, the first of the Mi- 
kados. The first of these five rulers was Tensio-dai-jin, the god- 
dess of the sun, daughter of the last of the preceding seven. 

It is quite possible that this cosmogony is a foreign element, 
devised as a foundation for the heavenly claims of the Mikados ; 
and, as it has been supposed that Jin mu was a foreigner, it is not 
impossible that under the early emperors a mixture of imported. 

* According to Siebold. 


and native beliefs may liave taken place to found Sintuism, the 
state religion. 

The earliest expression of the religious idea in Japan was, 
probably, a worship of spirits and animals, a mixture of Shama- 
nism and Fetichism. 

It is not clear what position the primeval gods hold in the 
Sintu worship ; but the Mikado is superior to most, if not all, since 
the gods are all obliged to attend him every year in the tenth 
month, which, for this reason, is called kamimatsuki godless. 
During this month there are no festivals, as the gods are supposed 
to be absent from their temples. The Ten-sin-szchi-dai and Dai- 
sin-go-dai are excepted in this service. 

The sun goddess is the great divinity who, it seems, may be 
worshipped only through the mediation of her lineal descendants, 
or of the kami, born gods or canonized. All these kanii have 
temples dedicated to them, generally small shrines closed with 
grating and containing a mirror and tassels of white paper, as 
emblems of purity. At Isj-e is the principal temple of the sun 
goddess, surrounded by a great number of smaller ones. Every 
village appears to possess a shrine, and one is often found within 
the precincts of Buddist temples. No images are set up for wor- 
ship. The whole cultns is obscure ; the functions of the priests, 
who bear the titles " god keepers " and " messengers of the gods," 
are not known to foreigners. The sun goddess is the highest ; 
and as she may be worshipped only through the mediation of the 
Mikado, or of the kami, consisting of 492 born gods and some 
thousands of deified mortals, there is no need of an interceding 
priesthood or of images. 

At a small village on Yesso I happened to see something of a 
Sintu festival. A vista of temple gate-ways leading to a small 
shrine was lined with box lanterns eight or ten feet high, support- 
ing similar horizontal ones overhead. Among the countless deco- 
rations painted on these paper transparencies, were many repre- 
sentations of the phallus. During the afternoon a procession left 
the temple bearing the inner shrine. A staff-bearer preceded, 
followed by a man carrying a stand to receive gifts. Next came 
two men with sticks, from which hung ornaments of white paper, 
and after these a drummer, fifer, and cymbal-bearer. Behind 
these strutted the " god keeper," fantastically masked with flow- 

160 AGBOSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. xi. 

ing white locks, and a nose six or eight inches long projecting 
from under a helmet. He wore high stilt-shoes, and bore a large 
spear in the right hand. Following the god-keeper came a num- 
ber of retainers leading a caparisoned horse, and bearing spears, 
bows, and guns, the insignia probably of tlie priest's ofBoe. 
Strangely enough, the man who represented the god-keeper was 
merely a cooly, hired as a substitute ; the tiite priest, if such ho 
jnay be called, walked behind the procession in civilian's dress. 

During the day and evening, worshippers, dressed in their best 
clothes, approached the shrine after washing their hands at a 
small tank. Throwing a few coins into the gift-box, they pros- 
trated themselves, uttered a short prayer, rang the shrine bell 
three times and withdrew. The approach to the temple must be 
made with a pleasant face, and indeed there seems to be an entire 
absence of asceticism in the Sintu cultus. Offerings of rice, wine, 
etc., are brought; but if the custom of offering sacrifices was ever 
developed to a further extent, it has been modified by Buddism. 

The duties enjoined by this religion are said to be : " 1. Pres- 
ervation of pure fire, as the emblem of purity and means of purifi- 
cation. 2. Purity of soul, heart, and body. The purity of the 
soul is to be preserved by a strict obedience to reason and the 
law; the purity of the body, by abstaining from everything that 
defiles. 3. Exact observance of festival days. 4. Pilgrimage. 
5. The worship of the kami, both in the temples and at home." 
" Impurity is contracted by associating with the impure, listening 
to impure language, by eating certain meats, by coming in con- 
tact with death or with blood. Whoever is stained with his own or 
another's blood is impure for seven days, i. e., unfit to approach 
holy places. "Whoever eats the flesh of any four-footed beast, 
deer only excepted, is impure for thirty days. On the contrary, 
whoever eats a fowl, wild or tame, (water fowls, pheasants, and 
cranes excepted) , is impure for only one Japanese hour." * Attend- 
ing a dying person, killing a beast, or approaching a corpse, ren- 
ders impure for one day. The nearer the relationship to the 
dead person the greater the impurity. 

The worship of ancestral spirits is general among the Japanese, 
and is apparently identical with the Chinese custom, but in what 
relation it originally stood to Sintuism is unknown to us. It 

* "Japan." Charles MaeFarlane. 


forms there, as in China, the household worship. A festival of 
this cultus, the feast of the dead, reminding one of All Saints' Day, 
occurs yearly. During three days the departed spirits return to 
their former homes, and on the last night every house sets afloat 
on the waters a little boat containing rice, wine, etc., for the 
departing spirit, while lanterns on every tombstone illuminate the 

Side by side with these ancient forms exist remnants of Fetich- 
ism, perhaps . as traditions of the earliest belief of the people. 
Certain animals are kami, and even stones may be chosen as such. 
No Japanese will kill a water-snake, at least those living in and 
near warm springs, of which they are looked upon as the gods. 
Whenever we caused excavations to be made for mining pur- 
poses, the common miners chose from the rubble the most water- 
worn rock and set it up as the kami or rather fetich of the place. 

Besides these, there are the remains of an extensive system of 
demon-worship, also of great antiquity, in which good and evU 
spirits play an important part, and which seems, in connection with 
the worship of ancestors, to be of the same origin with the Shaman- 
ism of the Mongolian family. These demons, represented under 
conventional forms, occupy an important place in Japanese art. 

Even in the little we know of these ancient forms of religion, it 
is impossible not to see in them an incongruous mixture. While 
the greater part of them probably belong to Mongolian Shamanism, 
we are reminded of the Arians in the cosmogony, in the worship of 
the sun, and in the veneration of the phallic symbol, as well as in 
the order of nuns,* the proceeds of whose mode of life go in part 
to the temple of the sun. It should appear that the religion of 
the Mikados is an oflEshoot of the early worship of sun and light, 
which in antiquity was practiced in central Asia, and which, at 
different times, seems to have been common to all the agricul- 
tural tribes from the Nile to Peru. Unlike the course of devel- 
opment among other peoples, it does not seem to have grown 
into a dualistic belief; the sun goddess is worshipped as the 
mother of the human race, as the positive deity, without the 
awful rites of Siva and Kali. It is probable that there was no 
distinct idea of a hell until this was introduced by Buddism. 

That a future life was believed in, is shown by the ancient cus- 

♦ See page 111. 

162 AOBOSS AMERIOA AND ASIA. [chap. xi. 

torn whicli required the wives, concubines, and attendants of the 
Mikados to commit suicide at his death, a fact that reminds us 
of the similar custom among the Incas of Peru, and the burning 
of widows in India and among the Phenicians. 

A careful study of the early religion of Japan cannot fail to 
produce most interesting results to the ethnologist. 

In the year A.D. 285 the works of Confucius were introduced 
by the philosopher Wani. While the philosophy of Confucius 
has done much toward moulding the ethics of Japan, its skepti- 
cal tendency has been confined to the higher classes, among which 
it has come to number a large sect of atheists. 

But the religion of the Japanese people is Buddism, derived 
through Corea from China, and subsequently developed by 
priests who travelled to its source in India. The early missiona- 
ries of this faith, disregarding hardships and dangers, penetrated, 
as zealous apostles, through all eastern Asia, spreading their 
doctrines broadcast over fields in which they took root the more 
readily that the teachers were ever ready to engraft on them the 
pre-existing superstitions. As Buddism, in its different forms, 
has had an important efieot on all the people of eastern Asia, 
it may not be amiss to give here a brief outline of it. 

At the time of the birth of Budda, in the sixth century B.C., 
Brahminism, developed out of the sun and light worship of the 
Arians, was flourishing in all India, and supported like an arch 
of adamant the oppressive system of castes — a system which, 
based probably on the original relations between the conquering 
Arians and the subjugated aboriginal tribes, has been the bane 
of India, from the time of that conquest to the present day. 
Brahminism taught that Brahma, the one supreme deity, feel- 
ing a desire to create, developed into a god-head of three per- 
sons — Brahma, creator; Vishnu, preserver ; and Siva, destroyer — 
and that the whole world was created not only by this deity, but 
out of him, and is, in fact, part of his essence. According to the 
Brahminical view, all creation was the result of a sinful desire 
on the part of Brahma to produce ; and existence is an evil 
which ought not to be ; indeed, their abstract philosophy teaches 
that it is a dream. But, creation being efieoted, or at least 
seeming to be, the whole course of existence, material and imma- 
terial, is a preparation for the remedying of this evil by the final 


re-absorption of all things into the divine essence ; and this could 
be effected only by transmigration — ^by a long-continued purifica- 
tion through birth and regeneration of each individual soul in the 
various forms of life in plants, animals, and men. Out of the de- 
mand of the popular mind for a more explicit system of punish- 
ments and rewards, arose a belief in a heaven for the righteous, 
and a graduated hell for the wicked. But these were not eternal 
conditions — heaven, earth, and hell were finally to be re-absorbed 
into Brahma, and all individual existence to be lost in the origi- 
nal essence from which it sprang. A leading doctrine of this re- 
ligion is the salvation of man — that is, his final absorption into 
the divine essence, through his own exertions, and from this doc- 
trine grew the asceticism, which, developing to its highest degree 
in self-sacrifice, has long formed the second destructive worm at 
the root of Indian civilization. 

Budda undertook the reformation of the world, the abolition 
of caste, and of the shedding of blood in sacrifices. His name was 
Sakyamuni. He was born a prince,* and is said to have been 
prompted to meditation by meeting in one walk an old man, a sick 
man, a corpse, and a priest. Determined to find by meditation the 
cause of the four great evils — birth, sickness, old age, and death — 
he secretly left his family and possessions to study among the 
Brahmins. After six years of deep thought, aided by fasting 
and mortification, he found that Brahminism offered no solution 
of the problem. Finally, after throwing off the shackles of the 
Brahminical philosophy, he attained the essence of knowledge and 
became Budda, sage. 

The original dogmatics of Budda and his disciples, the result 
of this long meditation, is substantially this : f there is no exist- 
ence, no substance, no world ; consequently all that existence 
pre-supposes is wanting : there is no first cause, no deity. AH 
was nothing, is nothing, will be nothing ; all things are unreal, and 
non-existence is the only reality. The presence of the ever- 
changing world is only a conceit, a result of the belief in its real- 
ity. X -^ ti^'t exists, i. e., seems to exist, is subject to the four 
great evils : birth, sickness, old age, death, and to the pains arising 

* The eariieBt Bnddist writingR speak of him only as a man ; but the mythology with 
which the religion was early corrapted, represents him as an incarnation of Vishnn, who 
entered his mother's womb In the form of a five-colored ray of light. 

t " Scherr Gesch. der Beliglon," I. 339. 

X Laaaen after Hodgson. £id. Alterthamsknnde, n. 461. 

164 A0B088 AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. xi. 

from these. The world and life are only a sorrow. To relieve 
this sorrow, man feels a longing, which gives birth to pleasure 
and passions. In the complete destruction of this longing con- 
sists the redemption from sorrows, which are ever being born 
anew. This destruction and redemption is approachable only- 
through the six perfections: wisdom, virtue, activity, charity, 
patience, and brotherly love.* Salvation results from the union 
of the highest wisdom with the most virtuous action. But sal- 
vation is nothing else but nirvana, i. e., the entire extinction of 
man — the return of the individual nothing into the primeval state 
of non-existence. 

During nineteen years Budda travelled through India, fol- 
lowed by disciples, preaching his doctrines, recognizing no caste, 
teaching human equality, virtue, and brotherly love, and planting 
the seeds of a religion which was destined to number hundreds 
of millions of followers. He died in his eightieth year, after 
having won many disciples among all classes. Budda left no 
writings ; but, as in the early Christian church, his doctrines were 
written by his immediate followers, and in three great ecclesias- 
tical conferences, the last B.C. 146, the dogmas, discipline, and 
course of missionary labor were established, f 

In its original form, Buddism taught that existence was an evil, 
the world a vale of sorrow, and the release from this evil was at- 
tainable only in the nirvana, i. e., the condition of extinction of the 
soul, or of its consciousness. This blessedness was open to those 
who became Buddas by observing the ten commandments, viz : 1, 
thou shalt not kill; 2, thou shalt not steal ; 3, thou shalt not be 
unchaste ; 4, thou shalt not lie ; 5, thou shalt not bear false wit- 
ness ; 6, thou shalt not swear ; 7, thou shalt not speak evil ; 8, 
thou shalt not covet ; 9, thou shalt not take vengeance ; 10, thou 
shalt not be superstitious, i. e., believing in gods. 

But this was too unsatisfactory ; and to satisfy the moral neces- 
sity in the Indian mind for a belief in future punishments and re-^ 
wards, the doctrine of the transmigration of the soul, and ulti- 
mately of a paradise and hell, were taken from Brahminism, with 
many other corruptions ; and as the new faith spread beyond the 
confines of India, a whole hierarchy of saints, with a queen of 

• Bnmonf. " Introduction a THiBtoire de Buddism," 1. 153. 
t " Scherr. Qesch. der Eeligion ; " a work I have used freely in this eketch of Bnddism. 


heaven at their head as in Catholicism, was built upon the spirit- 
worship of the converted peoples. And it was to this plasticity 
that the religion owed the facility with which it spread over east- 
ern Asia. 

Thus Buddism modified its absolute negation of immortality 
to the extent of lengthening out existence by means of transmi- 
gration as a purifying process, preparatory to extinction in the 
blessed nirvana. The soul wanders through six classes of ani- 
mated beings, viz: genii, demons, men, quadrupeds, birds, and 
creeping animals, ascending or descending, according to merit or 
demerit. It is open to all to become Buddas, through their own 
exertions after wisdom and virtue, aided by the purification of 
transmigration. But there are several degrees among the Buddas 
to be gone through before entering the nirvana. At present Sa- 
kyamuni is the highest, and under him are three bodhisvatta, i. e., 
possessors of the essence of wisdom. They have reached the en- 
trance to the nirvana, but are not yet freed, being obliged to be 
bom again and again on earth to advance the work of salvation. 
On this basis, especially, rests the whole organization of Lamaism 
in Thibet and Mongolia, where these Buddas re-appear in the per- 
sons of the Grand Lamas. 

Strictly, all Buddists should be beggars, celibates, and ascetics. 
Practically, these conditions are followed only by the priests and 
a large number of hermits. 

At an early date, probably in the conferences already mentioned, 
the organization of the Buddist church and its discipline received 
the main features which have lasted to this day. The divisions 
into active clergy and monks, all celibates as well as nuns, the 
ranks of the clergy, the ritual, veneration of relics, intercession 
through saints, confession though not auricular, organization of 
monastic and conventual life, use of the rosary in prayer, shaving 
the heads of clergy and nuns, the synods and church councils, the 
clerical costumes especially in Thibet, the sermons in Japan, ring- 
ing of bells for matins and vespers — all bear the strongest analogies 
to their counterparts in Catholicism. The temple service, with 
sprinkling of holy water, burning of incense in censers, and with 
chants, resembles high mass. 

The resemblance is so strong indeed that Abb6 Hue, a zealous 
and learned Catholic missionary in Thibet, was forced to admit a 

166 ACB0S8 AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap, xi 

community of origin, though while in one part of his narrative he 
supposes that a Nestoriau missionary introduced the Catholic rit- 
ual into Thibet, in another place he attributes it to the agency of 
Satan. But so many of the features in which Buddism resembles 
Catholicism are common to all the branches of the former, branches 
which diverged even in the middle of the first century, that one 
is forced to the conclusion that western ritualism and much of 
the superstition on which it is based is of Pagan birth. 

Buddism, as we have seen, entered China in the middle of the 
first century, and thence, through Corea, it reached Japan in the 
sixth century. In these countries it has retained more nearly its 
external Indian form. It entered Thibet also at an early date ; but 
obtaining there control of the state, the doctrine of transmigration 
Avas carried to a logical consequence in the incarnation of the 
bodhisvatta in the ruler under the title of Dalai Lama. It is in 
Thibet that the strongest analogy obtains between the Catholic 
and Buddist hierarchies, culminating at H'lassa, as at Rome, in a 
temporal and spiritual sovereign. In the fourteenth ceiuury 
Thibetan Buddism was much purified of its corruptions by 
Tsongkaba,* a reformation which extended only through Thibet 
and Mongolia. 

In its earliest form a rigid, comfortless Atheism, with the mildest 
and most humane of moral codes, it has everywhere engrafted 
upon its stock foreign superstitions until its temples are pantheons. 
Still, as in most religions, the unalloyed doctrines of the founder 
are studied as a mysticism by a few of the more learned in the 
priesthood. In every country where it has found foothold it has- 
left more or less of its impress on the people. In Thibet, where 
one-third of the population are said to be in the clerical ranks, 
the eifect of the reformation is still visible in thousands of ascetics 
seeking salvation through hermit life and severe mortification of 
the flesh, and in the law requiring women to render themselves 
hideous when out of their homes. In Mongolia the humane doc- 
trines of Budda have made a peaceful, hospitable, and kind-hearted 
race out of the descendants of those hordes which during the 
middle ages were the scourge of the eastern world, from the 
Pacific to the Atlantic, from the Arctic to the Indian ocean. 

In China it has had less efiect on the people. The Chinese 

* " Huo'B Travels in Thibet, China, and Tartary." 


miud, the exact reverse of the Indian, had early formed for itself 
the moral code of which Confucius was the exponent ; while Tauism, 
with its mixture of early native and Brahminical superstitions, 
supplied as much of the supernatural as an utilitarian people could 
require ; but among the teeming population there were certain 
fields open for it, and to these it adapted itself. Even in China 
enough are found to fill its monasteries, and the priests of the count- 
less temples are supported by the sale of charms, by giving theat- 
rical representations, performing funeral services, and feeding the 
spirits of the dead on All Saints' Day. 

It is said that the early Buddist missionaries in Japan obtained 
the imperial favor by announcing that the Mikado was an incar- 
nate Budda, thus making him the head of theii' church as in Thibet. 
But, though not disturbed by Government, it suffered a long per- 
secution from the people. Its usual elasticity causing it to adapt 
itself gradually to the popular mind, and the fact that it offered more 
distinct promises of a future condition, enabled it ultimately to 
overgrow Sintuism, and to spread wider and deeper than the utili- 
tarianism of Confucius. Buddism may now be said to be the re- 
ligion of Japan, though it must be used as a generic title, numerous 
sects having sprung up under the lax supervision of its nominal 

In Japan, Buddism has not merely taken into its hands the per- 
formance of the native ritual — it has spread widely its influence, 
especially as a means of moral instruction in families. Its temples 
are crowded not only on festival days, but regular and frequent 
-sermons by day and in the evening are attended by attentive 
congregations, chiefly of women with their children ; and in this 
way religious instruction, which, though Pagan, inculcates many 
of the moral truths that form the basis of Christianity, is ex- 
tended to the family circle. Religious training, left to the mother 
and the temple sermon, begins when the former carries her 
baby to the temple, thirty days after birth, to make its first offer- 
ing of a few coins. Alcock has described the funeral of a Japan- 
ese interpreter of the British legation, in which he dwells upon 
the points of resemblance it bore to a Catholic ceremony. 

It is said that in Japan, Buddism has developed a more defined 
idea of heaven and hell than elsewhere ; certainly the illustrations 
of hell-torment in Buddist books might have served as models 

168 AOEOSS AMEBIOA AND ASIA. [chap. xi. 

for Dante, so much do they resemble the monkish fancies of me- 
diaeval Europe. But for the same reason that Buddist asceti- 
cism, which flourishes in Thibet, found a slight foothold in Japan 
among the pleasure-loving Japanese, this dualistic conception has 
never produced the gloom which with diflerent degrees of dark- 
ness has accompanied a similar conception in the west, from an- 
cient Egypt to modern Scotland ; much less has it developed the 
fearful rites of Moloch and Astarte, of Siva and Kali ; indeed, the 
Japanese mind was wanting in the qualities necessary to originate 
or grasp a distant personification of the evil principle. 

The fact that Sintuism forbade the use of meat as food, ren- 
dered it the more easy for the Buddist religion to inculcate its 
doctrines against taking life. Certainly the gentle doctrines of 
Budda must have done much toward making of the Japanese, 
outside of the soldier class, the quiet and kindly people they 

The strong resemblance between Japanese Buddism and Cathol- 
icism, existing in the idea of a supreme God and the miraculous 
incarnation and birth of a Saviour, in the doctrine of future re- 
wards and punishments, in the ritual and church organization, in 
the worship of saints and a queen of heaven — all these may be 
the ingredients of a soil in which Christianity would flourish. 

"We have seen how successful were the efforts of the followers 
of Xavier ; could they have copied the example of their Buddist 
predecessors by proclaiming the Mikado as Vicar of Christ, and 
have renounced all political designs against the independence of 
Japan, Miako might to-day be a rival of Rome, the centre of an 
eastern church, and the Mikado the head of a powerful hier- 



TowAEU the end of July the measles were so far on the de- 
cline throughout the island that we prepared a more extended 
journey of reconnqissance. On the fifth of August we left Hako- 
dade for the west coast. 

Our first day's ride was over a 'part of the road followed on 
the previous occasion, and brought us to our first resting-point 
for the night, Washinoki, on Volcano bay. Leaving this point 
the next morning, we struck off to the northward, over the beau- 
tiful beach which skirts the western shore of this water. The 


scenery surrounding this inland sea is beautiful even for the Jap- 
anese coast. Jutting far inland from the Pacific ocean, its south- 
ern shore from Cape Esan is formed by lofty cliffs, crowned with 
dense forests as far as the volcano of Komangadake. Thence 
the coast-line sweeps in a circle of some forty miles in diameter 
to Cape Edomo on the north. Terraces, covered here with grass 

170 AGB088 AMEBIOA AND ASIA. [chap. xii. 

and there with forests of deciduous trees, separate the bay from 
the rugged range of mountains which divides the waters of the 
Pacific from those of the Japan sea. The northern horizon is 
broken by several lofty and symmetrical volcanic cones, while on 
both shores curling columns of vapor rise with ever-varying 
shapes from yellow sulphur-coated piles of rock, the only rem- 
nants of once active volcanos. 

A brisk trot soon brought us to Otoshibetz. Beyond this 
place the beach is overhung by a terrace blufi", from sixty to 
eighty feet high, exposing strata of sandy clay abounding in 
recent marine shells. A large part of these still contained much 
of their organic matter, and in several instances I found the 
dorsal ligament of bivalves still elastic when wet. 

A further ride of a few miles brought us to the large fishing 
village of Yamukshinai. Near this place, between the shore and 
the cliff, there is a marsh several acres in extent, in which numer- 
ous tepid springs bring to the surface a mineral oil of the consis- 
tency of tar. Here we found several priests, who not only used 
this product for light, but also in the manufacture of India ink. 
These old men received us hospitably, and listened with incredu- 
lous wonder to our stories of artesian borings, and flowing wells 
of petroleum. 

Before reaching Yurup we passed through a settlement of 
Ainos, a remarkable race, which is shrinking steadily in numbers 
before the superior civilization of their rulers. Those of this 
people whom we saw had been long in close contact with the 
Japanese, but we were told that they did not differ much from 
those in the interior. They are of medium stature, and toler- 
ably strong and compact build. The face is broad, the forehead 
rather low, the nose short, and oftener slightly concave, in pro- 
file, than straight. Their eyes differ decidedly from the Mon- 
golian type in shape, and are black. Their color is perhaps a 
little darker than that of the Japanese ; the smallest children are 

But the most remarkable characteristic of this people, in which 
they differ from all other races of eastern Asia, is the luxuriant 
growth of their hair, which is straight, long, and glossy. The 
men have' heavy beards of great length, and moustaches of such 
dimensions that they form a curtain which has to be raised to 


gain access to the mouth in eating. The whole body is more 
hairy than in other races. 

The women are short, tattoo their chins, and wear large ear- 
rings. The Japanese look upon the Ainos with contempt, and 
give to them a curious origin. According to a traditional myth, 
the wife of a pre-historic Mikado was banished from Nipon for 
infidelity. After a long wandering, she found herself alone on 
the island of Yesso. Here there appeared to her a dog, which 
became her sole companion, and from the union of this pair there 
sprang the Aino race. But notwithstanding the degraded position 
which they are now able to assign to this people, the Ainos were 
able during more than a thousand years to maintain a vigorous 
defensive warfare. It is probable that they were the aborigines 
of the empire : indeed as late as the seventh century they occu- 
pied a considerable portion of Nipon. And it was not until 
about the twelfth century that they were brought into complete 
subjection by the arms of Yoshitzunfe. Their spirit was then 
broken, and they were practically enslaved by the Japanese. For 
the last two hundred years at least they have been the serfs of 
the Prince of Matzumai, who by allowing them no other source 
of subsistence than that of fishing, has made their labor the main 
source of his revenue. At present they are a mild, good-natur- 
ed race, and the early European navigators in the Pacific found 
no terms too strong in praising the simple habits and virtues of 
this people. 

As we passed through the village we met several men who 
saluted us in the Aino manner, by stroking their long beards and 
lowering their hands gracefully from their mouths. The houses or 
huts are built of poles, covered with brush or rushes ; they are 
rectangular on the ground, and curve at the sides and ends up- 
ward to the ridge-pole ; each hut is fenced about with reeds. Near 
each of them is a small building, raised about eight feet from the 
ground on posts, and serving as a store-house for fish, sea-weed, 
and so forth. Before many of the dwellings I observed the skulls 
of bears raised on long poles. This custom is connected with their 
superstitions, and reminded me of a similar practice described occurring among a tribe of Indians in British Amer- 
ica. Reverence for this animal has not prevented the Ainos from 
becoming very skilful in the art of killing them by the use of spring 

172 ACROSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. xii. 

bows, and other means. Sticks cut so that long tassels of shav- 
ings hang from the sides, are also connected in some way w ith 
their superstitions. They are called inas, and are found raised on 
poles alongside of the skulls of bears, and stuck into the earth 
near graves. 

The characteristics of this people are so little known that it is 
more difficult to determine their position among the races of man 
than that of almost any other. It is not improbable that they 
represent a portion of the ante-Mongolian population of eastern 
continental Asia, of whom the easternmost islands have become the 
last foothold, just as the inaccessible portions of the Indian archi- 
pelago, the mountains of China and Thibet, and the frozen 
regions of the northeast, contain the varied remnants of peoples 
who have no longer place in either history or tradition. 

Leaving Yurup in the morning we continued our journey along 
the beach to Kunnui on the sea. Here leaving the shore we 
ascended the valley of Kunnui creek. The day was extremely 
warm, and both horse and rider were tormented beyond endur- 
ance by swarms of many kinds of insects. There were large 
brown flies, nearly an inch long, which inflicted pain, and drew 
blood through a single thickness of woollen clothing ; there were 
yellow flies barred with black, which buried themselves in 
swarms in the shaggy hair of our horses, driving the poor ani- 
mals almost to distraction ; there were the common horse-fly, 
the deer-fly, and clouds of mosquitoes. 

Our bridle-path lay for several miles through a swamp, covered 
with a dense growth of weeds, eight or ten feet high. Among 
these there is the plant I have already mentioned, with a strong 
leaf, often nearly four feet in diameter, which frequently serves 
the Japanese as umbrella or parasol. At length we crossed 
into the valley of the Toshibetz, and descending by a most villain- 
ous road, where the horses floundered in mud to the saddle-girths, 
we reached the dwelling of the officer who had charge of the 
gold mines of Kulinui. The hospitality of this gentleman was very 
acceptably shown in the form of a salmon over two feet long, which 
had just been speared in the Toshibetz. The next day we started 
for the gold washings, in a log canoe, with sides of neatly-fitted 
boards. Two Ainos, a man and a bright-eyed boy, pulled us 
skilfully and rapidly against the strong current of the mountain 


torrent. This region is clothed with a forest of maple, beach, birch, 
oak, magnolia, elms, and wild mulberry trees of large size and 
thrifty growth. But these beautiful woods are rendered almost 
impenetrable by the dense growth of a kind of bamboo, which 
grows from eight to twelve feet high, and so compactly that it 
is impossible to see more than two or three feet into it. The 
gold is found in a deposit of sand and gravel, which at one time 
has formed a broad plain occupying the whole valley of the 
Toshibetz, but in which the river and its tributary creeks have 
cut their channels to the underlying rock. Geologically the 
deposit is very recent, overlying in places beds of sandy clay, 
which are the equivalents of the terrace deposit near Otoshibetz, 
and like this latter abound in shells of living species in which 
the organic matter and ligaments are also still preserved. The 
auriferous gravel contains varieties of granite in chloritic and 
micaceous slates, quartzite and amygdaloid with geodes of chal- 
cedony, and rolled fragments of binoxide of manganese. The 
concentrated sand of the washing is chiefly magnetic iron and 
zircon. The manner of working is ingenious, and will be under- 
stood by referring to the annexed diagram. The bed of a rivulet 
is chosen for the work. A reservoir (a) is dug and dammed, and 
the bed of the stream [h) cleaned out and made regular. This 
done, the auriferous banks {d) are broken down into the stream, 
where the force of the current concentrates the gravel, carrying 
ofi" the sand and clay. The workmen then pi ace themselves in 
pairs {g) up and down the stream, near and below the broken- 
down bank. Each man is provided with a coarse mat, about two 
feet long by one broad, which he places lengthwise in the stream, 
keeping it down with one foot, at the same time partially stem- 
ming the current. He then hoes the gravel on to the mat, much 
of the old gravel going off below as fresh material arrives from 
up stream. At intervals the mat is carefully removed and 
washed out into a very shallow tray on batea, made from a board 
about eighteen inches long, and one foot wide, hollowed out, and 
having a circular depression near one end in which the workman 
concentrates the gold. In this manner the gravel is pretty well 
exhausted of its gold, very little being caught upon the lower 
mats. The working progresses sideways into the deposit and up 
stream, and the current is kept near the banks, as these recede 

174 A0B088 AMERIOA AND ASIA. [chap. xn. 

from the centre of the rivulet. As the space between the banks 
widens, all the coarser material that is not carried beyond the 
workings by the current is built up into a pile of loose masonry 
(c), which, increasing in length and breadth as the work advances, 
forms an island. 

The returns from these washings are very small, and even with 
the cheap cost of labor barely pay more than expenses. This, 
however, is probably owing to the fact that this whole region 
had been very thoroughly washed over in ancient times, though 
when and by whom does not appear to be known. Broad and 
deep canals of considerable length are still visible in the dense 
forest, and we found every indication that an extensive and well- 
arranged system of " ditch-digging " had once existed through 
this region. All these workings are covered with a heavy 
growth of trees, apparently not differing from the surrounding 
forest, either as to kind or size. Trees eighteen inches in diame- 
ter were found growing in the bottom of the now dry canals. 
The same method of washing the sand and disposing of the 
rubble as that described above appears to have been used by 
these old miners. 

On our return to the house we found each member of our large 
train rejoicing in th e possession of a long string of fine speckled 
'trout ; am ong these were some fish which resembled closely the 
cat-fish of our own rivers. 

The next day was a fast, corresponding somewhat in the Japa- 
nese calendar to All Souls' Day of the western church. At 
this time the spirits of ancestors are supposed to visit the homes 
of their earthly relatives. In the evening a fire is built at the 
entrance, to guide the spirits in ; and the next day another is 
built to conduct them out. This is the simple form of the cere- 
mony in the wilderness. In the cities and towns the houses and 
cemeteries are illuminated, and on the sea-shore every family 
launches a mimic vessel, loaded with rice and wine, to feed the 
departing spirits on their voyage to the other world. During 
this fast the Japanese live entirely on vegetables, eating neither 
fish nor eggs. 

Being ready to continue our journey we retraced our steps 
toward Volcano bay, running again the gauntlet of mud-holes 
and flies. Of these last the yellow variety, which gave us the 


most trouble, left us as soon as we came within the influence of 
the sea-breeze. At Kminui on the sea, the fishermen were busy 
in packing in straw bags, and loading into junks, immense quan- 
tities of herrings, from which the oil had been expressed. This 
refuse is shipped as a manure to Nipon. Clouds of ravens, the 
constant attendants of the fishermen, hovered over the beach. We 
reached Woshimanbe, our sleeping place, early in the afternoon. 
Here taking a boat and rowing a short distance out on the bay, 
we had a fine sun-set view of the north and west shores. We 
could see distinctly the sulphur-coated cliffs of the great solfatara 
of Mount Oussu. This ragged pile is evidently but the remnant of 
a volcanic cone, which must once have been of great size. Far 
inland and north from Mount Oussu we could clearly see the 
towering peak of Shiribetz. This is a perfect cone, regularly 
truncated, and rising apparently from the plain. Unlike the 
greater number of Japanese volcanoes, its activity seems to have 
ceased soon after the formation of the cone. It is clothed to the 
summit with a dense vegetation, which at the distance from which 
we saw it, seemed like purple velvet and the rays of the setting 
sun. Its height is great, probably between six and eight thou- 
sand feet, and its symmetrical form entitles it to a place among 
the picturesque volcanoes of the world. 

Leaving Woshimanbe and Volcano bay, we turned northwest 
to cross over to Odaszu on the Japan sea. The road was hardly 
passable even on horseback. The long trains of pack-horses, 
fastened together in single file, soon convert a road into a succes- 
sion of deep holes, separated only by narrow partitions, and filled 
with soft mud, which the sinking feet of the horses churn up at 
every step into the rider's face. 

After a tedious ride we reached a solitary farm situated in the 
plain on the water-shed. The establishment of these farms, together 
with the granting of many privileges to their occupants, is one of 
the wise means by which the Government is endeavoring to colo- 
nize the island, which has hitherto been productive only in its 

Here we embarked in two small boats and descended a shallow 
and rapid river. For several hours we passed between banks, 
now low and overhung with water-willows, now high and clothed 
from the river's edge with beautiful forests. As we glided down 

176 AOBOSS AMEBIGA AND ASIA. [chap. xii. 

the shallow rapids, I noticed that the bottom was covered with 
closely-packed colonies of nnios. Gradually the steep banks re- 
ceded from the river, and the valley opening out before us was 
occupied by broad terraces sloping gently toward the sea. 

At a point a mile or two above the mouth of the stream we 
came upon a relay of horses which had been sent out to meet us, 
and which carried us to the village of Odaszu. 

We had hardly arrived when an officer appeared, announcing 
that the magistrate ci the district would soon wait upon us. He 
came immediately with all his retinue, and entered our apart- 
ments with two or three officers. In our interviews with those 
officials who had been in the habit of meeting foreigners, we had 
always adopted the usual compromise between foreign and Japan- 
ese etiquette ; but we now were to receive an officer who knew 
nothing of this compromise, and to whom a shake of the hand 
would have seemed as ridiculous a proceeding as the salutation by 
rubbing noses seems to a European newly arrived among the na- 
tives of the South Sea islands. There was no escaping it ; it was 
clear we would have to conform to the complicated Japanese 
ceremonial. Accordingly we ranged ourselves and the officers of 
our escort in a row, squatting upon our marrow bones, while our 
visitor and his attendants faced us in another row, exactly five 
feet distant. This done, using our knees as pivots, every man 
threw his body forward, with the palms of his hands resting on 
the mat, and regarding his vis-a-vis 'for an instant, lowered the 
head till the forehead rested on the floor. In this position each 
side murmured in a low tone the customary formula, and then 
raised the head just far enough to see that the other side was 
being equally polite. Another lowering of the head, and another 
formula, and the ceremony was ended. Keturning again to the 
usual sitting position, not without a strong tendency to vertigo, 
on my part at least, we began an informal conversation, assisted 
by the fragrant tea and tobacco of Japan. Our visitor soon left 
us to rest from the fatiguing journey of the day. 

Our route now lay northward along the western coast of the 
island. The road to Isoya was very rocky and difficult of pas- 
sage. We found it, however, very picturesque, winding along 
the sea-shore, now over a narrow, pebbly beach, overhung by 
high and ragged cliffs, and now cut through projecting points of 


rock. Beyond Isoya, leaving the shore, we ascended by a nar- 
row trail to the top of a high promontory, which here juts out 
into the sea. From this ridge, which is harren of forest, we could 
see far inland up the broad valley of the Shiribetz river. The 
plain, and the gently-sloping sides of this beautiful valley, are 
covered with a compact growth of the cane already mentioned, 
giving to it the appearance of a green savannah, through which 
meanders like a silver thread the clear mountain stream. De- 
scending to the plain we were ferried across the river, which it 
seems is navigable for some distance for flat-boats. 

The northern wall of the valley is formed by a lofty promon- 
tory called the Raiden. Here, leaving the sea-shore and rising 
by a rugged path, we reached the surface of a terrace, a barren 
plain bestrown with fragments of volcanic scoria. 

The road up the side of the mountain proper was one of the 
worst on the island, and was in many places little better than a 
flight of rocky steps. This mountain is composed of beds of 
trachytic lava and tufas, and the soil formed from a disintegra- 
tion of these rocks supports a noble growth of the beautiful forest 
trees of this country. 

After a precipitous descent into a deep gorge, we reached, be- 
fore snnset, the hot springs of the Yunonai. Through this ravine 
there runs a small torrent which has its source in the crater of 
the solfatara of Mount Iwanai. Where our route crossed this 
creek there are several hot sulphur springs, and a small inn, a 
branch of the principal hotel of Iwanai. The springs have tem- 
peratures varying from 40 to 60 degrees C. In the warm detritus 
which surrounds these, there harbor countless snakes, of which 
the cast-off skins are visible in every direction, on the ground, 
and fluttering from every bush. These reptiles are respected by 
the natives, being looked upon as the divinities of the springs — 
a remnant, probably, of the old nature-worship of the country. 

Here, as at Kakumi, the hot springs stand in close connection 
with the snow-white quartziferous porphyry. This rock is im- 
pregnated with iron pyrites, which in places is represented only 
by cubical cavities containing sulphur. 

Another long and difficult ride over the northern part of the 
Raiden brought us to Iwanai and the broad terrace plain which 
rises from the sea to the inland mountains. 

178 ACHOSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. xii. 

Iwanai is one of the principal towns on the island, and is the 
residence of a magistrate. This officer waited upon us as soon 
as we arrived, and we went through a repetition of the customary 
ceremony, but this time with a more practical result ; for we had 
to make requisitions on him for the necessary animals and guides 
to take us to the volcano of Iwaounobori. Early the next morning 
the guides were in the court of our inn with twenty- six saddle 
and pack-horses. With this long train we soon filed through the 
streets, objects of silent wonderment to the population. A ride 
of a few miles over the grassy plain brought us to the mountain, 
and here began a road the like of which it would not be easy to 
find outside of the island of Yesso. It had been cut the year be- 
fore through the dense undergrowth, and consisted of mud fully 
two feet deep, in which countless stumps of cane stood like so 
many bayonets. 

In the midst of the mountains an unexpected view burst upon 
us. We suddenly left the forest, and there lay beneath us a beau- 
tiful lake, hemmed in on all sides by gentle mountain slopes, clothed 
only with bamboo cane, but this so dense and green that it had 
all the appearance of long, waving grass. Through an opening 
in the hills this green landscape was brought into sharp contrast 
with the towering pile of black and gray crags and clifiis, coated 
with glistening sulphur, or striped with bright bands of red and 
yellow. From this massive ruin countless columns of vapor 
were rising, at one moment separately, at another intermingled 
by the breeze, and we knew that we were approaching one of na- 
ture's grandest laboratories. Skirting the lake and crossing the 
low pass we reached the sulphur works at the foot of the moun- 
tain before dark. 

It is worthy of remark that on the plain at the foot of the 
mountain we found a large area covered with wintergreen, bearing 
white berries. The occurrence of this genus, gaultheria, whioh_ 
is unknown on continental Asia or Europe, is another striking point 
of reseniBlance between the Horas ofnorthern Japan and the 
United States. 

We attempted an ascent of the mountain to get a view, but 
were rewarded only with a thorough drenching from the fog, 
which suddenly settled round the summit. 

The next morning we all made the ascent. Iwaounobori is a 


true solfatara of grand dimensions. It is the remnant of an an- 
cient cone, which must have been of great height, and it is the 
centre of a large volcanic region which surrounds it, with the 
varied and peculiar scenery belonging to such districts. From 
the summit, fifteen extinct cones, and probably many more volca- 
nic mountains, are visible; among these the distant peaks of 
Esan and Komangadake rise distinctly on the horizon. Nearer 
to us was the magnificent cone of the Shiribetz, second only to 
the Fuziyama in beauty ; while between this and the mountain 
on which we stood lay the broad green valley of the Shiribetz, 
remarkable for its long sweeping horizontal and vertical 
curves. Afar ofi" to the east the horizon was broken by a range 
apparently running north and south through the middle of the 

While I was lost in the great beauty of the scene spread out 
before us, I became more strongly impressed by the difficulties 
which we would have to contend with in our exploration of the 
island. The presence everywhere of the dense undergrowth of 
cane seemed to render the interior inaccessible. 

As I have already said, this mountain is only a part of the skel- 
eton of a former cone of large size. Of the symmetrical mantle 
of ashes which once covered it, only portions of the foot-slope 
are now visible around the base. The present mountain is a 
great mass of trachytic rock with several culminating points, 
connected by small ridges, and has a number of crateriform depres- 
sions. The sides are broken with perpendicular clifis several 
hundred feet high, and cut into by deep and narrow gorges. 
The depressions on the summit, which indicate, perhaps, the po- 
sition of fonner outlets, are now filled to the level of the lip with 
sand and clay, forming plains surrounded by rocky walls. 

The Iwaounobori is the central one of three volcanos, which 
lie in a line running about N. IST. W. This is also the course of 
a broad belt within the limits of which the solfatara action is 
most developed, both across the summit and upon the sides. 
The rock within this belt, wherever not covered by the products 
of decomposition, is traversed by countless fissures, more or less 
filled with sulphur, and wherever the filling is incomplete there 
issue forth jets of steam and gases. These jets showed on every 
trial a temperature of 98 degrees C. The steam has a strong 

IgO A0B08S AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. xn. 

odor of both sulphurous acid and sulphuretted hydrogen. It has 
an acid reaction on litmus paper, which is especially strong when 
drops that condense on the sulphur-crystals around the orifices of 
the jets are tested. Beautiful crystals of sulphur formed rapidly 
on the bulb of the thermometer. Excepting at the steam vents, 
the fissures are closed with sulphur at the surface ; but by break- 
ing in to the depth of a few inches cavities are exposed, lined with 
a bristling mass of the straw-colored crystals of this mineral. On 
a precipitous part of the exterior of the mountain, where a large 
mass of the rock seemed recently to have fallen off, I saw an in. 
teresting exhibition of the action of the gases. The rock is seen to 
be traversed by a perfect network of sulphur veins (a), which seem 
to occupy the positions of the cracks common to all rock. The 
trachytic character {b) is tolerably well preserved in the centre of 
the block, but towards the circumference the rock is more and 
more disintegrated, and has assumed the form of concentric 
layers, the outer shell being changed to a white earth. It seems 
not improbable that this condition may exist through a large 
part of the mountain, thus forming a great stock-werk of sulphur. 

The only way in which I can account for this structure is by 
supposing that the disintegration of the rock, which formerly oc- 
cupied the spaces now filled with sulphur, took place when the 
water, which now appears only as steam, stood at a higher level 
in the mountain, making it a mud volcano, like Esan, and exud- 
ing the products of decomposition as fast as formed. On the 
withdrawal of the water to a lower level, the abandoned net-work 
of fissures was filled with sulphur by the decomposition of sul- 
phuretted hydrogen. 

At another place, in the walls of one of the small craters near 
the summit, there Is an instance that would seem to Illustrate the 
action of the gases and steam without the presence of water as 
such. Here a black rock, which occurs in dykes at several points 
on the mountain, is visible in different stages of alteration. In 
places it was observed to have the concentric structure assumed 
by many rocks during the first period of disintegration, and by 
which the polygonal form of the blocks into which all bodies of 
rock are subdivided, is lost as each succeeding shell is removed. 
In this case the outer shell Is white and earthy. Again the same 
rock was found altered, to the centre of each block, the shape re- 


a Snlphnr. b Rock. 

CHAP, xu.] 8EG0ND JOURNEY IN TE8S0. 18] 

maining, to a soft, pasty, white clay, quite tasteless. Often in tht 
centre of a snowy-white mass of this clay, would lie a core, equally 
soft hut black, the line of separation between the colors being well 
marked. In places where the alteration was in the first stage, an 
alnm-salt was found, producing an efilorescence on the surface of 
this black rock, possibly as one of the first products from the 
decomposing felspar. 

On the west side of the peak, in the valley which drains the 
craters, there was formerly a spring of chalybeate water, which 
has left a large deposit of hydrated oxide of iron, filled with 
leaves and stems of cane, apparently of the same species that now 
covers the surrounding country. 

After taking lunch near the small shrine of the San Gin (moun- 
tain god), we descended to the sulphur works. Here also some 
one has worked in ancient times, and an old iron cauldron of great 
size, which was found half-buried at this spot, is now used for the 
evening bath-tub. It is mounted over a furnace in the open air. 
"When the water is heated to the right point, the bather gets in, 
and presents, as seen through the smoke, a scene which reminds 
one of pictures of boiling martyrs of old. 

The Government has sulphur works on this mountain, in which 
fourteen cauldrons are kept at work. The monthly production is 
about 64,000 pounds, at a total cost of $183 25. 

Returning to Iwanai, we left the next morning to continue our 
journey northward along the coast. A broad, pebbly beach, be- 
tween the terrace plain and the sea, extends as far as the mouth 
of the ShLribuka river — a stream which is navigable for canoes. 
After crossing this we came again to the precipitous cliffs ajjd 
craggy head-lands which characterize the west coast. Our jour- 
ney was made partly on horseback, and partly by boat, the head- 
lands being often impracticable for roads. In this manner we 
reached the small fishing village of Ousubetz. Leaving the sea 
the next morning, we ascended the bed of Kaiyanobetz creek. 
About a mile from the shore we came upon a series of sand- 
stones and shales, enclosing three seams of superior bituminous 
coal, the largest bed being about four feet thick. We spent the 
hour before sunset in rowing among the rocks ofi" Ousubetz, ad- 
miring the richness in form and color of the marine life exhibited 
in the fissures and on the sides of the rough rocks. Brilliant star- 

182 AOBOaS AMEBIGA AND ASIA. [chap. xn. 

fishes and shells were clustered in the bright and many-colored 
sea-mosses, out of which grew, like beautiful flowers, large sea- 
anemones. Many fishing-boats were engaged in taking the halio- 
tis from the rocks. This is done by means of a long, three-pointed 
spear. We found this mollusk to be an excellent substitute for 
oysters when made into soup. The Japanese are very fond of 
this, as they are indeed of almost everything that lives in the 
sea. Sea-slugs (beche-de-mer), cuttle-fish, sea-urchins, and sea- 
weed of many varieties, would serve to head a long list of marine 
animals which are, in reality, excellent food. They occur on 
many coasts, including our own ; but the Japanese alone seem to 
turn them to practical account. The same remark might be ap- 
plied to the vegetable productions of the forests. In one class 
especially, the cryptogams, there seems hardly to be a variety 
— whether growing in the forests, or even on the wood-work Lq 
mines, or cultivated in gardens — which does not find its way into 
Japanese soups. 



The summer was now so far advanced thao, much as we 
wished to visit the northern part of the island, we felt that to 
continue our journey, which was purely one of general reconnois- 
sance, would give us too little time for work at the mines before 
the setting-in of winter ; we therefore concluded to return. A 
boat, propelled by eight' oars and four sculls, aided by a large sail, 
brought us rapidly across the bay to IwanaL 

As we were to continue our journey by sea, we were now at the 
mercy of the weather, which for two days prevented our start- 
ing. This delay, however, gave me the opportunity of seeing the 
ceremonies of a great Sintu festival, which I have described in a 
previous chapter. 

On the 25th of August a smooth sea tempted us to start on 
our journey by boat. We were soon passing under the rocky 
cUffs of the Raiden. The northern part of this mountain is 
formed of the volcanic tufa-conglomerate, covered by a great bed 
or perhaps several flows of lava, often exhibiting columnar struc- 
ture. In places, beds of lava seemed to be inter-stratified with 

At about half the distance between the northern and southern 
sides of this highland a large amphitheatre or crateriform valley 
opens toward the sea. South of this the cliffs, less high, consist 
of the conglomerate, and in the perpendicular walls are visible 
many small but regular dykes with transverse columnar struc- 
ture, and in places dislocated by faults. The conglomerate strata 
have a considerable south-westerly dip, and as we approached the 
southern flank of the Raiden, near the village of Hamajime, they 
disappeared under the sea. Over-lying this formation, and com- 
posing the mountain above, is a gray volcanic rock, possessing 
a tabular structure, which gives it often a stratiform appear- 
ance near the bottom ; but in the upper half of its thickness, the 

184 AOBOHS AMEBIGA AND ASIA. [chap. xm. 

plates curve irregulai-ly upward, presenting their edges toward 
the upper surface of the bed. 

This mountain is a high flat ridge, running nearly east and 
west, between the valleys of the Shiribetz and the Shiribuka riv- 
ers, and on it is the Iwaounobori, and at least one more volcano. 

These volcanic rocks, especially the tufa-conglomerates, are 
characteristic of a greater part of the Japanese coast. They 
were deposited at a time when this long range of islands was 
submerged to such an extent that only the higher points, most of 
which are volcanos, showed themselves above the sea. What is 
now a range of large islands, was then a long archipelago, con- 
sisting in the main of super and submarine volcanos. In the 
straits separating these countless islands, and uj^on the submerged 
slopes flanking the main range toward the Pacific on the one side, 
and the Japan sea on the other, there were deposited the ashes 
ejected from these vents, commingled with the debris which was 
being constantly formed along the shore-line of the islands. The 
eruptions of lava from the sub-aerial and sub-marine- volcanos flowed 
in streams over the surface of these deposits, to be again covered 
by other beds of detritus and ashes. In the neighborhood of ac- 
tive centres the fissures radiating from these through this de- 
posit were filled by dykes of injected lava. Long submerged 
and exposed to the action of both the sea-water and springs con- 
taining acids and alkaline salts, the mineralogical character and 
texture of these beds sufiered great changes. This was espe- 
cially the case where the more finely comminuted and more soluble 
ashes predominated over the rolled fragments of harder rock. 
The results of this metamorphic action difier according to the 
circumstances under which it took place. Thus, near Kumaishi 
there are heavy beds consisting entirely of pumice, which seem 
to have undergone but little change ; this is perhaps explainable 
by the abundance of small and perfect crystals of quartz, which 
would seem to indicate that the pumice itself is highly silicious 
and insoluble. In other places immense beds have been trans- 
formed into palagonite tufa. Again, as in the peak of Hako- 
dade and the neighborhood of the Esan, immense beds, which 
were unquestionably deposits of tufa, have been so changed by 
re-crystallization into felspar v^ith horn-blende and quartz, as to 
become trachytic porphyries. 


The subsequent elevation of the Japanese archipelago so far 
united its countless islands as to form the present group. Many 
former straits are now passes between inland mountains, from 
the crests of which the beds of tufa slope off to disappear under 
the ocean. The action of the sea along the coast has everywhere 
cut deep into this deposit, breaking the once continuous decliv- 
ity, and substituting for it the cliffs and fiords, which everywhere 
encircle the islands that constitute Japan. 

This is one of the more recent phases of geological change to 
which the Japanese group has been subjected. The skeleton of 
the islands consists of granitic and schistose rocks, apparently 
of the same age as the similar fonnations of China and Tartary, 
and like these either Silurian or protozoic. At various points 
upon the group, tertiary, secondary, and perhaps paleozoic rocks 
are represented. 

Leaving the boat at Isoya we continued our journey the next 
morning with horses. Riding around the head of the bay of 
Odaszu, we were ferried over the Shibuta river, our horses swim- 
ming behind. Here we entered the domain of the Prince of 
Tsungara. The broad terrace plain which forms the surface of 
the deposit of tufa conglomerate is here covered with a heavy 
growth of a jointed grass from six to ten feet high, while the in- 
land hills are clothed with stunted forests. In crossing the wood- 
ed slopes we found abundance of vines of the wild grape and of 
the hiwa, which bears a delicious fruit. 

In crossing one of the small rivers, near where it empties into 
the sea, an accident occurred which might have been attended 
■with serious results. The stream was spanned from bank to 
bank, about fifteen feet above the water, by a bridge constructed 
only of four large timbers laid loosely side by side. The two 
inner beams were squared, but the outer ones were left unhewn. 
On to this narrow bridge five Japanese officers had already pre- 
ceded me, when I observed that every one of their horses was 
treading against the side of the outer round timber, and rolling 
this from its place. Foreseeing an immediate catastrophe, I 
backed off and gave the alarm. But the warning came too late. 
The words dbnai! abnail had hardly left my mouth when the 
beam rolled from its place, and the horses plunged with a heavy 
splash into the torrent below. The riders, with the skill peculiar 

186 ACROSS AMEBICA AND ASIA. [chap, xiil 

to Japanese horsemen, landed upon the bridge and escaped un- 
harmed. The animals also suffered nothing worse than a wetting. 

I was struck by the more flourishing condition of the inhabitants 
of the imperial domain, as compared with those of the territory of 
the Prince of Tsungara. There was a general air of dilapidation in 
the villages, and of thriftlessness among the people, in the region 
we were now passing through, which spoke of the imposition of bur- 
dens disproportionate to the sources of revenue. The line of de- 
marcation between the two conditions was as sharply drawn as the 
geographical boundary. The cause could not lie in nature, for 
the sea, which is in both the only source of revenue, offered its 
treasures alike to both. The reason most probably lies in the 
polic y of the Taikoonate, which during more than two centuries 
has been exerted to impoverish the feudatory lords of the empir e, 
by exacting from them the constant maintenance of large armies , 
and of great establishments at Yeddo . To meet this constant 
drain, taxation must have been pressed to the utmost, while the 
means thus raised were in great part expended in the imperial 
city, and on the road thither ; thus enriching countries which are 
practically foreign, instead of circulating for the benefit of all 
classes at home. One can hardly conceive of a policy better 
calculated than this to impoverish and weaken the dangerous ele- 
ments of a feudal empire, and at the same time to enrich the terri- 
tory of the central power. 

After riding through several of these miserable villages, we 
came to a point beyond which roads were impossible, and 
from which we continued our journey by boat. The coast here 
was a succession of deep fiords and bold head-lands, facing the 
sea, with high and wood-crowned cliffs. With a breeze which just 
filled the sail, we threaded our way among countless islets. 
Nothing but the most intimate knowledge of this coast could 
have guided us safely through the narrow channels separating 
rocks which lay bare after every wave, and which almost touched 
us on either side. But the sense of danger is often lulled by the 
increasing confidence in one's guides ; so here, after having passed 
several times through places which seemed to threaten certain 
destruction, we withdrew our attention from the terrors beneath, 
to the fantastic forms carved by the waves out of the soft rock 
at the base of the overhanging cliffs, and to the grander view 


of the long perspective of headlands and islands, forest and sea, 
drawn out before us. 

Daring the afternoon we had been approaching a chain of high 
pinnacle rocks, which jutted out from a cape, and which as we 
approached them were found to consist of symmetrical columns 
of lava. In the little bay thus protected lay a fishing village, our 
resting-place for the night. The chief productions of this part 
of the west coast are awabi (haleotis), erico (beche-de-mer), ika 
(cuttle-fish), some herrings and pectens, together with sea-weed. 
The sea-urchin [nona) is also very abundant. All these form ar- 
ticles of trade with the other islands, and of export to China. 
From this point we made a short excursion into the interior. 

Continuing our journey now by horse, now by boat, we reached 
Oiisubetz, whence we were to ascend a small stream into the 
. At this village there was being built a large penitentiary, to 
which prisoners from all parts of the empire were to be sent, and 
where they were to pass their time in working at diiferent trades. 
This experiment was being tried in imitation of American state 

Our excursion up the valley of the Ousubetz, or more prop- 
erly up the bed of that creek, was one which showed the difficulty 
of access to the interior as soon as the very few routes of travel 
are left. We made the first seven miles with the greatest difficulty 
on horseback, over the stony bed of the river. Here we found 
several huts and warm springs ; these latter, having temperatures 
from 54 to 58 degrees C, issuing from porphyritic rock, and contain- 
ing much lime and iron, are the favorite resort not only of count- 
less snakes, but also of many invalids ; and it would certainly seem 
that any person whose constitution is strong enough to carry him 
over the road thither from the coast, could not fail to leave this 
locality with every assurance of having had it well tested. 

Avery large and cavernous deposit of ferruginous tufu surrounds 
the springs. In the never-failing heat imparted by the neighbor- 
ing water to this rock, large families and colonies of harmless 
serpents live and multiply, enjoying, as the presiding genii of the 
place, a perfect immunity from harm. Their cast-off" skins cover 
the ground, rot in the water, are entwined among the plants, or 
dangle as streamers from every hole. 

188 ACROSS AMEBIC A AND ASIA. [chap.xhi. 

These springs are frequented by bathers during the spring and 
autumn, when insects are least troublesome, the visitors paying the 
owner for the privilege of using the water. 

Leaving our horses at this point, we continued our journey on 
foot. For several miles we waded almost uninterruptedly in the 
stream, the water often rising nearly breast-high. The object of 
this excursion was to examine certain mineral deposits which had 
been reported to the Government as existing in the valley. But 
after we had nearly exhausted both the afternoon and our strength, 
the guide confessed himself unable to find the place, and we re- 
traced our steps. The valley of this river lay between nearly 
vertical walls of amygdaloid and porphyries, a structure which, by 
forcing us .to follow the bed of the torrent, rendered our journey 
exceedingly difficult. 

The next morning we returned to the sea-shore, and continued 
southward to Kumaishi. Here for a distance of some miles the 
terrace formation changes character; its usual gloomy conglom- 
erate tufa is replaced by pumice, the snow-white cliflEs of which 
presented a new feature in the coast scenery. 

While rowing off the shore I was struck by a peculiarity con- 
nected with this tufa. There are in the deep water many rocks, 
whose surfaces are just exposed at low tide. They are flat, and 
from a few feet to several yards in diameter, the tops and the 
sides for some feet below the surface being thickly encrusted with 
mussels, and a variety of those organisms which flourish between 
tides. Below the area thus protected, the action of the sea upon 
the soft pumice has progressed until the supporting material of 
each encrusted rock is little more than a slender column. 

At Tomarigawa we left the Japan sea and turned eastward to 
re-cross the mountains. The western slope is deeply sulcated by 
ravines, which at a short distance from the sea expose the gran- 
itic and other rocks, the irregularities of the surface of which have 
been filled up by the volcanic tufa conglomerate. Our route lay 
mainly along a very narrow ridge of this conglomerate, which in 
places became so sharp that the road had to be built up with 
rubble and brush. 

The forest had the usual dense undergrowth of cane. While 
we were threading our way along the narrow path, a large bear 
met us, coming from the opposite, direction, and caused a great 


commotion among our horses. He was evidently as much star- 
tled as Ave were, for Avith a rapid shuffle he disappeared in the 
thick undei'growth, and the noise he made showed the speed 
with which he descended the hill. These animals are very numer- 
ous, and only a few days before some of them had eaten a horse 
at the neighboring mines. 

Before evening we reached the mines of Yurup, in a valley on 
the eastern slope of the mountains. Here the volcanic conglom- 
erate has been removed by erosion over a large area, exposing an 
extensive development of black metamorphosed argillite in ver- 
tical strata, associated with broad bands of greenstone. True 
fissure veins traversed both these rocks, bearing galena, zinc-blende, 
and pyrites of iron and copper, associated with quartz, calcite, 
carbonate of manganese, and more rarely barytes. These veins, 
which, with a width of from two to eighteen inches, are tolerably 
regular in the greenstone, split into parallel threads in the argil- 
lite. A considerable area has been worked for lead, but here as at 
Ichinowatari the deposits are very poor. The highest production 
ever attained was about four tons per month, but at the time of my 
visit it was less than two. The processes of separation and smelt- 
ing are the same as at Ichinowatari. The foUowinoj schedule of 
the daily expenses is inserted as a curiosity. The laborers are 
supplied by the Government with rice : 


Accountant clerk $ 05 

Head miner 07 

Twenty-five miners, at 5 els 1 35 

Eigliteen Coolies, at 4 cts 73 

Thirteen women, ore dressers and washers, 3 to 6 cts 45 

Daily consumption of iron 13 

" " " steel 04 

"' " " mats and ropes 06 

Total $ 3 76 

Here we made the first application o f powder to mining that 
had ever been a ttempted in J apan. The men learned readily the 
art of drilling, but could not "be persuaded to take any part in 
the charging, tamping, and lighting of the first hole. They 
would not even stay to watch the process, but left the mine in a 
body. They came back immediately after the explosion, fully 

190 ACB0S8 AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. xiii. 

expecting to find the works fallen. in, and the rash foreigners 
buried in the ruins. Their delight was indescribable when they 
saw the result of the blast, which, at the cost of , an hour's labor, 
had accomplished more than they were able to do by their own 
process in a day. After this they stayed to learn all about the 
tamping. and lighting, and very soon went through the whole 
operation without assistance. 

It is remarkable that the use of powder for blasting should 
have remained so long unknown in China and Japan, in which 
countries this explosive material has been used for other purposes 
I since very early time s. It was amusing, too, to find the Japanese 
Government in 1862 urging the same objections to its use in mines 
that were put forward under similar circumstances by the gov- 
ernments of Europe two or three hundred years ago. It was 
not without some difficulty that we obtained permission to make 
the trial. The result was so successful that before I left Japan I 
was told that many princes had sent men to Yurup to learn the 
new process. 

The empire is very rich in deposits of usefuLmetals, and upon 
the island south of Yesso, these, including iron, have been worked 
since very early times. The Japanese being very skilful in min- 
ing above the lowest attainable water level, have found and 
worked countless deposits, exhausting them down to the point at 
which the water compelled them to leave. 

The natural result of this is, that large numbers of veins bear- 
ing gold, silver, lead, and copper, have been abandoned when 
most productive. Indeed, it would seem that only the introduc- 
tion of pumping machinery is necessary to raise to a high point 
the production of these and other metals. In this direction, there- 
fore, I turned my first attention. As the Government considered 
it dangerous for us to visit the mining districts of Nipon, I de- 
cided to introduce such improvements as could be constructed in 
a simple form at the mines of Yurup. 

Unfortunately, the lateness of the season prevented my doing 
more than making the preliminary surveys, and the termination 
of our engagement soon after this rendered it impossible to give 
other than theoretical instruction in this important branch of 

At Yurup there are also two warm springs with a tempera- 


tnre of 40 degrees C. The water is iised in winter for wasting 
the ores, and for this purpose is conducted into a large tank 
built in one corner of the ore-house, where it serves also as a 

The road from Yurup to Volcano bay lies for some distance, 
through deep and narrow gorges, in which it is in places cut 
out of the solid rock; but as wc approach the sea the valley 
widens and becomes a fertile river bottom, upon which there were 
already two or three farms. Among the products of these is 
the hardy variety of rice, which in Japan and China is cultivated 
in a climate resembling that of the northern United States. 
Coming at Yurup into our j^revious road we returned to Hako- 
dade, which we reached on the 14th of September. 

The remainder of the autumn was passed at the mines, Mr. 
Blake returning to the gold washings of Kunnui, and I to the lead 
mines of Yurup. 

During this time there was growing the revolution which has 
since broken out with such force that the long prosperous empire 
is now the scene of dissensions which threaten its very exist- 

Among the charges brought against the Taikoon by the anti- 
foreign party, was one which accused him of throwing the re- 
sources of the country open to foreign spies in engaging us. Find- 
ing itself losing ground, the Yeddo Government was forced to 
suspend many of its liberal schemes, and first of all to bring to 
an end our engagement. This was done in February, 1863. My 
connection with this Government had been uniformly pleasant, 
and it was with deep regret that I saw t!ie threatening ascen- 
dancy which the anti-liberal party was daily gaining. 

As the hour of departure approached, the young officers who 
had so long been my companions and pupils showed how strongly 
they felt a separation which threatened to put an end to the study 
of foreign sciences in which they had become engrossed. To 
several of them I was deeply attached, and that the feeling was 
mutual was shown by the tears they shed when the moment 
of parting came, and which were the only ones I ever saw in 
the eyes of a man in Japan or China. Takeda, Myagawa, 
Oosima, and X uwao, vied with each other in bringing presents, 
among which were ancient family swords, the choicest of heir- 


looms, -which money cotild not have bought. It was useless to 
refuse the acceptance of objects which I knew they prized so 
much. They were men of high intelligence and cultivated minds, 
and possessing all the characteristics which with us constitute the 
thorough gentleman. Myagawa, who had mastered the English 
and French languages, has since twice been to Eui'ope as inter- 
preter and secretary to Japanese embassies. 

During our sojourn in Hakodade I incurred a heavy debt to 
the greater part of the foreign inhabitants for many acts of 
friendship and hospitality ; especially to Messrs. Walsh & Co., 
and their agents, Messrs. Stevenson and Wheaton. 

Profiting by the kind invitation of Capt. Bassargine, we em- 
barked for Nagasaki in 11. I. R. M. corvette " Bogartyr." The 
weather was very rough, and we had more than usual difficulty 
in making headway through the straits of Tsungara. Here a 
strong current rushes perpetually from the Japan sea to the 
Pacific. During the winter months this and a constant west 
wind render Hakodade almost inaccessible to vessels coming from 
the east. After entering the Japan sea and turning south-west- 
ward, every day's progress brought us into more southern cli- 
mates. As we approached the straits of Corea, countless pictur- 
esque islands, covered with a semi-tropical vegetation, offered a 
pleasant contrast to the snowy hills and leafless forests of the 
northern part of the empire. ' 

It was a beautiful morning at the end of February when we 
steamed up the long bay of Nagasaki. It had been my intention 
to go on with the "Bogartyr" to Shanghai, but receiving a kind 
invitation from Mr. J. G. Walsh, the U. S. Consul, of the house 
of Messrs. Walsh & Co., I concluded to remain. 

Nagasaki is built on the side of a high hill at the head of the 
long bay of the same name. Its streets in one direction are long 
and crooked, conforming to the contours of the ground, while in 
the other they rise in flights of stone steps, ascending the mountain. 
The upper part of the slope is occupied very generally with 
temples and temple grounds, and with extensive cemeteries. 
As seen from the water, the city and its surroundings present a 
unique and pleasant appearance. Large trees rise from every 
part of the town, while here and there thick masses of the rich 
foliage of the camphor tree, or smaller grores mixed with the 


lighter green of the bamboo, relieve the monotonous outlines of 
the level roofs of a Japanese town. Above all these the city is 
overlooked by massive temples, standing on terraced grounds 
faced with heavy stone -walls, and approached by, long avenues of 
steps and sacred gate-ways. Not less remarkable are the ceme- 
teries, always a particular feature of a Japanese town. These, 
too, lie above the city, and cover the surface of the hill, following 
all its irregularities, filling ravines, and mantling the summits and 
sides of promontories, here creeping into the temple grounds, and 
there setting a limit to the growth of the town. The hills thus 
occupied are very steep, and have been made available for this 
purpose only by raising upon their slopes _ thousands of small 
terraces, faced with stone. Indeed, the entire side of the moun- 
tain is one mass of hewn masonry. It is a city of the dead, and 
is traversed in every direction by main avenues and lesser streets, 
always paved with well-trimmed blocks of stone. Each terrace is 
divided into small lots a few yai-ds square, which are floored with 
stone and suiTounded with tastefully carved railings of the same 
material. These are family lots ; and in each are several monu- 
ments in dark-colored stone, of various forms and sizes. Round 
and square columns, obelisks, human figures, and tablets, are the 
most common forms, and upon these the inscriptions are taste- 
fully cut in such high relief, or sunk so deeply into the rock, that, 
like an Egyptian necropolis, this one and the names of its inhabi- 
tants seems intended to last through all time. 

Till the end of the fourteenth century the site of Nagasaki 
Avas occupied merely by a fishing hamlet belonging to a prince 
of the same name, the ruins of whose palace were in Kaempfer's 
time still visible upon the hill behind the city. With the extinc- 
tion of this family its territory became part of the domain of the 
Prince of Omura. Soon after the arrival of the Portugese, the 
then ruling head of this house found it conformable to his spirit- 
ual or material interests to confer this city upon the strangers, 
to be theirs for ever. It became immediately a centre of foreign 
trade, and of the proselyting missions of the Christian church, 
and a stronghold in which were developed the ambition and in- 
solence of the Europeans, which before long led not only to theii 
own expulsion, but also to the awful persecutions inflicted upon 
those over whom their influence had been extended. After the 

194 AOBOSS AMEBICA AND ASIA. [chap. xiir. 

adoption by the Japanese of an exclusive policy, they transferred 
the Dutch factory to this place, or rather to the artificial island 
of Decima, where they were guarded by gates and police, and 
treated with great indignity, as the price of being permitted to 

Being no longer in the service of the Government, I was de- 
barred from making any excursions in the neighborhood of Naga- 
saki. My walks were confined to an area of a few square miles, 
and to runs in a sail-boat along the adjoining coast. The neigh- 
borhood of the city is highly cultivated, the valleys and hillsides 
being terraced. Among the crops I noticed large fields of rape- 
seed, raised for the oil. The walks through these fields and ter- 
races command beautiful and ever-changing views, and would be 
delightful were it not for the manure-tanks sunken in the ground, 
which meet one at every step with the most ofiensive odors. 
There are several coal mines in the immediate neighborhood, but 
as they are on princely domain they were inaccessible to me. 
After trying in vain to get permission to visit them, I concluded 
to leave for China, where foreigners had lately acquired the right 
of penetrating to the interior. 



Written to accompany this Volume, by 


Interest in Japanese art must have much increased, to have 
made Mr. Ruskin fear some malign influence upon his artists 
coming from this heathen source ; and it is true that many artists 
are in the habit of looking to it for advice and confirmation of 
their previous tendencies and efforts in art. 

Our first knowledge of Japanese art is not recent. Japanese 
products have come into Europe for the last two hundred years. 

In 1664, the importations into Holland of Japanese porcelain, 
fine specimens, amounted to 44,943 pieces. Japanese museums 
were formed at Dresden and in Holland ; and very good sale- 
catalogues {raisonnh) of the last century, distinguish carefully be- 
tween Japanese and Chinese work. 

They have always been admired, and collected, but like other 
rare things have had their best merits passed over, because they 
could be made the objects of a vulgar curiosity. Though they 
furnish a test, if ever there was one, for discernment in art, those 
who make it their business to instruct in such matters were silent. 
Original appreciation of excellence is never abundant ; even so 
late as 1851, Mr. Owen Jones did not include Japanese decoration 
in his " Grammar of Ornament." 

Since then, the opening of the treaty ports has made it familiar 
to all of us. We have all admired the many objects made lovely 
by their workmanship : their inimitable lacquers, embodying on 
their surface a complete school of ornament ; their unrivalled ivory 
and metal work ; their porcelains and enamels ; their bronzes, of 
colors unknown to ours, cast and polished beyond our means ; 
their colored printing, contrasting with our own brutal chromo- 



lithographs by its frankness, or by a delicacy equal to exquisite 


These things all please the eye, as if with the sense of touch. 
On analysis, besides the wondrous finish, we notice the novelty of 
the design, its energy, its accuracy, its sentiment, very often the 
grandeur of its styfe, very often a stamp of individuality or per- 
sonal talent, its recalling of natural objects, the enchanting 
harmony of its colors, and its exquisite adaptation to the surface 

We feel that we are looking at perfect work, that we are in 
presence of a distinct civilization, where art is happily married to 
industry. These accompaniments of every-day life, studied out, 
reveal a complete school of art. While it is still pure, uninflu- 
enced, and uninjured by now contacts, it will be well to inquire 
into its value, and to learn what lessons we can derive from it. 
Its limits seem at this day distinctly traced. What we shall 
know hereafter cannot contradict the points already made, even 
if it should very much displace them. Notwithstanding that 
every nation bears intellectual fruit neither natural nor tasteful 
to others, this is truer of literature than of plastic art, for this 
last speaks the more universal language ; and without our aim- 
ing at a full analysis, the principal characteristics of this deco- 
rative art may be here described in some connected order. 

Most evident in Japanese art, is the use of a marvellous deco- 
ration, the very crown of that power over color always an heir- 
loom of the East, and a separate gift from ours. To Eastern 
directness, fulness, and splendor, the Japanese add a sobriety, a 
simplicity, a love of subdued harmonies and imperceptible grada- 
tions, and what may be called an intellectual refinement akin to 
something in the Western mind. If we wish, their works can 
be for us a store-house as ample and as valuable in its way as 
the treasures of form left to us by the Greeks. For the Japan- 
ese, no combinations of colors have been improbable, and their 
solutions of such as are put aside by Western knowledge recalt 
the very arrangements of Nature. 

* I remember a print in which a silYered sickle of a moon shone throngh the most deli- 
cate gray fog clouds, as correctly edged as if by the photograph, and melting into the very 
texture of the paper. Over this were faint lines of falling rain, and an inscription perfect- 
ly distinct, bat as pale as the faintest wash of India ink. If we admire this refinement, 
what are we to think of that which it addresses- in Japan ? 


Great beauty of color is apt to obscure the structure upon 
which it rests, and excellence of design is not seldom unrecog- 
nized in the works of great colorists. Little as this is felt in the 
hai'monious synthesis of Japanese decoration, Japanese draw- 
ings and wood-outs in black and white allow us to gauge their 
abstract power of design, and their knowledge of drawing. Strip- 
ped of those other beauties of color and texture so peculiar to 
their precious work, these drawings give us in the simplest way 
their control of composition, that power in art which affects the 
imagination by the mere adjustment of lines and masses. Herein 
their work can be compared to the best, in this the most simple 
means of expression in art, for by this all its forms and jjeriods 
are united, and the tattooing of the savage is connected with the 
designs of Michael Angelo. In fact it is the nearest exjDression 
of the will of the artist, which is the very foundation of art. 
Japanese composition in ornamental design has developed a prin- 
ciple which separates it technically from all other schools of deco- 
ration. This will have been noticed by all who have seen Japan- 
ese ornamental work, and might be called a principle of irregu- 
larity, or apparent chance arrangement: a balancing of equal 
gravities, not of equal surfaces. A Western designer, in orna- 
menting a given surface, would look for some fixed points from 
which to start, and would mark the places where his mind had 
rested by exact and symmetrical divisions. These would be 
supposed by a Japanese, and his design would float over them, 
while they, though invisible, would be felt beneath. Thus a 
few oi-naments — a bird, a flower — on one side of this page would 
be made by an almost intellectual influence to balance the large 
unadorned space remaining. 

And so, by a principle familiar to painters, an appeal is made 
to the higher ideas of design, to the desire of concealing Art be- 
neath a look of Nature. It has the advantage of allowing any 
division and extension, and super-imposition of other and contra- 
dictory designs. With another analogy to the higher forms of 
Art the Japanese look to more symmetrical arrangement for 
their gi aver effects and religious symbolisms. To carry out this 
subtle conciliation of symmetry and chance, this constant refer- 
ence to the order of nature requires of course an incessant watch- 
ino- of all its moods and all its details. 

198 ACROSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap, xiv, 

The daily record of such attention fills the sketch-books of all 
artists, and many of the little Japanese books of prints are noth- 
ing but fac-sirailes of such sketches. Whether they are careless 
or studied, an impression of Nature disengages itself from them 
all ; every one who sees them will be more or less sensitive to a 
spirit of observation unfamiliar to our more hurried civilization. 
With the exception of a certain idealized stereotyping of the 
female face, they have a respect for reality only limited by under- 
standing the necessities of art. Any excess is in the direction of 
essential laws, and accentuation is a note of Japanese art. If 
they have not the feeling for plastic beauty that we inherit from 
the Greek ancestors of our mind, they show a deep sense, a pro- 
found knowledge, of the character of the human form; and«nce 
drawing may be divided into the drawing of form, and the draw- 
ing of motion, they may lay claim to a full and consummate 
ownership of the latter. If their modes shock our own convention- 
alities, we cannot gainsay that never before have artists so lived 
at home with animals and plants ; never has artistic skill held 
under a more subtle sway the thoughtless tribes of sea and air. 

The printed sketches of Hoksai, one of their later artists, from 
some of which the accompanying fac-similes are taken,* are 
types of the many-sidedness of the Japanese sketch-books, Birds, 
beasts, insects, and plants — their growth and jnovements ; curves 
of motion in water — falling, running, or even thrown ; the curl 
of smoke ; the ceremony of the Daimios, the shuffling of the 
Bonzes, the strut of the soldiers, the quarrels of the populace, 
scenes of home and out-door life, games of children, military 
exercises ; all trades with the workers in them, and deformities 
born of their work ; men too fat, men too thin ; landscape ef- 
fects ; studies of architecture and perspective ; and especially, 
and always, all possible positions of the human body are noted 
down in these little albums. All this is done in a manner which 
would grace the sketch-book of the best draughtsman that ever 
lived, with sensitive feeling, a detached mind, and gentle humor. 

Art is a necessary exaggeration of Nature, and implies a bear- 

* These facsimiles, not chosen particularly for their artistic merits, give besides iiomo 
imaginary scenes, a page of common Japanese types, and one of occupations and trades. 
At tlio foot of one is depicted a dispute about hack-hire, or rather cango-hire, not differing 
materially from similar comedies with us; above, the figure throwing back his ai-msls 
frightened by a ghost. 

Pac-siiniles of Japanese Woodcuts and Color-Printing 

Fac-siraile- of Ja]ianeae Woodcuts and Cnlor-Frmting' 


ing heavily upon certain distinctive points (caricatura). A 
certain gvotesqueness marlis these Japanese drawings. I do not 
refer to that side which, in all works of art, marks national dif- 
ferences, and which has for other nations something ludicrous ; 
but thei'e exists here a vein of humor which everything tells us 
must be a national expression. Their constant and delicate ob- 
servation recalls with a smile the secret mechanism of actions, 
from the slight indications of any habit to extravagances of 
gesture and demeanor which flourish in an open life like theirs. 
Their hand is light, and never suffers from that Western spirit of 
caricature wliich underlines and insists and dwells upon its joke. 
A few lines give it. If we understand it, so much the better ; if 
not, we shall not have failed in a puzzle or a rebus. We can still 
admu'e the accuracy of whatever is detailed, the comprehensive- 
ness of what is suggested, often the grace and beauty ; always the 
swing and energy of the design : for the Japanese draughtsman 
unites within him what is often separated in the Western artist — 
the power of representing grace and awkwardness, and a feeling 
of dignity, with a sympathy for the laugh on things. A Japanese 
hero strains under a ponderous weight, or a lady flirts her fan, 
and it is hard to say whether we receive most distinctly the 
impression of manly efibrt or of female grace. The summons of 
the idea is always answered by their imagination ; the real bends 
before their will, though never trampled upon, and retaining all 
its essential laws. However much the motive, the main forms 
or the accessories help the story and belong to it, they retain 
their elementaiy construction, and their strength or their grace is 
merely framed by a more feeling line. Hoksai, in the inscriptions 
alongside of some designs equal in all but beauty to the Greek 
inventions of the centaur, or the fawn, modestly remarks that it 
is more easy to draw things that no one has seen, than to 
represent things that every one sees.* With us, however, this 

* A sample of his playftil fancy is given m the fac-slmilcs of this book, the two figures 
carrying a bundle between them balanced upon the nose of one of them. They are called 
by Sir Eutherford Alcock gnome.<, rather perhaps suggested by some such description in 
the work known as the Sinico— Japanese Encyclopedia, of " the Yu-min," the feathered 
people: "The kingdom of the feathered people lies southeast of the sea, amid rocky 
precipices. The men have cheeks lengthened out like those of birds ; their beaks are red, 
their eyes white. Wings grow upon them, and they can fly, but they are incapable of going 
far away or of keeping up their flight for a longtime. They resemble birds, but are not 
bom of eggs." These stories account for other creatures of Hokisai, bicephalous semi-cen 

200 ACSOSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. xiv. 

ease of imagination is not an every-day mattei', thougli with 
us, also, the greatest successes in realism have been attained by 
men among the greatest in imaginative powei". The exception 
with us seems to be an essential character with them, transform- 
ing nature, deeply studied and wisely understood. The sum of 
all this makes up our first impression that the two opposites of 
realism and decoration form the art of Japan, and that in this 
successful blending, it takes a distinct place, never before filled 
in the logical history of art. 

Some of the compromises made necessary by this combination are 
interesting. Chinese art is often ridiculed for its complete ab- 
sence of perspective ; but our own practice of copying paint- 
ings, imitated in all their modelling and light and shade, upon 
the curved surface of our vases, is itself an utterly barbaric 

The perspective of the vase destroys the perspective of the or- 
nament, which it is impossible even to see from a proper point of 
view. The treatment of perspective in Chinese decoration is, 
therefore, the result of a very sensible idea. But the Japanese 
have improved upon the usual Chinese manner, and have invented 
an interesting compromise, in which certain rules of linear or iso- 
metric jjerspective are used with a deep feeling for the actual 
appearance of nature : and by the use Of high horizons, so that 
the different planes shall come one above the other, they manage 
to frame large compositions within quite an illusive effect. It is 
owing to this bird's-eye view that they are able to represent 
crowds and masses of people with enviable felicity, and give the 
feeling of open air and expanse to their smallest landscapes. 

In the gradual separation of decoration and pictorial art with 

(auric, many-legged, extensible, accustomed to Bend their heads on hawking expeditions 
or using their noses with more than elephantine sagacity, as does the female at the top ot 
this same page. Notice the probability of these impossible creations. In the foremost 
creature the blending of man's cheek with bird's beak ; the bird-like skull under the wild 
hair. See how the clothes and the wings in both are customary with them, and how the 
wings indicate a short flight and are merely a help. The man with the nose is not doing 
anything eccentric for him. He is accustomed to it, but he must of course lessen the weight 
of his burden and stop its swaying by putting his hand under it. His eyes blink too, and his 
face is wrinkled by the tension. All this the artist has seen in his fancy ; within the mem- 
ory of his observation he has found the projectedhead, the bent body, the cautious and bal- 
anced tread. Hokeai has, if I may say so, studied the manners of these strange creatures, 
and in other pictures of the bird-men, they always preserve their character, short-winged 
and strong-beaked, abrupt in motion, whirring in flight, quarrelsome as the quails they 
are like. 

r,iir-Tr;iLilK:; "t Jyyiane^^e AVoodcuis ainl Coloi-Frmliiiii 

[chap. XIV JAPANESE ART. 201 

us there was at least this advantage, that tlie artist was impelled 
to the individual study of nature that he might mirror the great 
world in the little world of his picture. 

To different origins we shall reasonably look for the causes 
which have kept the Japanese artist to flat tints and boundary 
lines in drawing, and have prevented his pursuing others of na- 
ture's appearances, and attempting to give the forms of things 
by the opposition of light and shade, or the influence of colored 
light. With the harmony which belongs to all good art, Japan- 
ese -jvorks, if they do not solve the latter problem, offer at least 
very successful sketches of such solutions. Their colored prints 
are most charmingly sensitive to the coloring that makes up the 
appearance of different times of day, to the relations of color which 
mark the different seasons, so that their landscape efforts give 
us, in reality, the place where — the illuminated air of the scene of 
action ; and what is that but what we call tone ? Like all true 
colorists, they are curious of local color, and of the values of light 
and shade ; refining upon this they use the local colors to enhance 
the sensation of the time, and the very colors of the costumes 
belong to the hour or the season of the landscape. Eyes studious 
of the combinations and oppositions of color, which must form 
the basis of all such representations, will enjoy these exquisite 
studies, of whose directness and delicacy nothing too much can 
be said in praise. 

The possibilities of art resemble very much those of life, and 
outside of this peculiar art Ave can imagine many openings. We 
certainly have in the colossal statue of Daibutz (given in the 
frontispiece), in its serene ideal of contemplation, a surmise of 
some one of the things that might have been in Japan. 

I have no space to consider whether, if the Japanese have an 
ideal, it can be contained, as with the Greeks, in the dream of a 
perfected beauty. The sufficient ideal of realism is character. 
Nor, any more than in Pagan antiquity, need we expect to find in 
Japanese art that deeper individual j)ersonality — the glory of our 
greatest art — and which may perhaps be connected (however il- 
logically it has been proved) with the education of the Western 
world by Christianity. That attempt at bringing to the surface 
some of the subtlest, deepest, and most complicated feelings of 
the mind, which is the soul of the works of Leonardo, of Michael 

202 AOEOSS AMEBIOA AND ASIA. ciiap. xiv.] 

Angelo, of Rembrandt, has had apparently no exemplar outside of 
modern and Christian Europe. 

We shall miss that unconscious inferiority of the artist to his 
intention which so often giVes a naive charm to early works. Art 
is a slow growth, as slow as civilization ; and the consummation 
of refinement in certain of their designs, meant to he repeated 
for common uses, is a sufficient' proof that it is old in Japan 
Besides that, we have its Chinese antecedents, its long inter- 
course with China which has an ancient art history, and the an- 
tiquity of some of the few documents we know. All our judg- 
ments have thus far been based uj)on the pictorial art of Japan, 
the only accessible to us, and open to any inquirer. The ques- 
tions regarding other forms of art with them — the social questions 
connected with the position of art among them — ^cannot be under- 
taken for want of room. 

Inquiry into Japanese art would give EQaterial for appreciation 
of the social state of the artist-workman in mediseval times and 
in a military race, or again in Pagan antiquityj and for ;a 
study of the advantages and disadvantages, connected with a 
fixed social condition : to which comparison the analogies .g,nd dif- 
ferences with their Chinese brethren will add help. But it must 
now be sufficient to have helped, in anyway, to call attention- to 
this art, which helps to bridge the gulf between us and the East- 
ern gardens. It can be the source of useful influences from a living 
school, equal to any in the study of nature and the use of decora- 
tion ; and it ofiers, to all those willing to put themselves in the 
proper mood, a new and fresh fountain of imaginative enjoyment. 

J. L. F. 

Tac-siiniles of Japanese Woodcuts aud Color-Priniing 



TowAED the end of March I embarked on a sailing vessel. 1 
had bidden farewell to the " land of the rising sun." With feel- 
ings akin to homesickness I watched the green mountains of Kiu- 
siu and the Gotto islands till the last peak disappeared. 

After a few days westwardly sailing, and already at a distance 
of two hundred miles or more from the China coast, the sea wat-er 
lost its clearness, and assumed a brownish-yellow color, caused 
by the suspended silt which is brought by the Y"angtz' Kiang and 
Hwang Ho from the interior of China. 

This material is rapidly filling the Yellow sea and the gulf of 
Pechele. Passing a day or two among the shoals at the mouth 
of the Tangtz' we finally entered into the Wusung river. We 
were nearly half a day in ascending to Shanghai. On either side 
of the stream, high levees, covered with grass, shut out the view of 
the country beyond, allowing only glimpses of tree-tops and tiled 
roofs. Many Chinamen and dogs were always in sight on the 
embankments, and the passage of the river was frequently barred 
by fleets of junks, their decks literally crowded with diminutive na- 
tives, whose stolid faces, shaven heads, longqueus, and incessant 
jabbering, produced upon me an impression which was the fore- 
shadowing of the endless monotony of life and character among 
this great race. 

The city of Shanghai consists of two parts, the old walled 
town, and the foreign settlement, around which there has gradually 
collected an immense native population, mostly drawn thither 
from the surrounding country for protection against the rebels. 
During this visit I found Shanghai anything but a pleasant place. 
Through the whole month of April there were incessant rains and 
fogs, rendering the streets of both cities almost impassable. Still 
I manacfed to take several walks through the old town, than 
which a more filthy place can hardly be imagined. The streets 

204 INTRODUGTION TO CHINA. [chap. xv. 

are very narrow, often with mud a foot deep. In China nothing 
is lost ; even the parings of finger-nails and the clippings of hair 
from the barber's shop are bought and sold for manure. I was 
therefore not so much astonished as disgusted at the frequent oc- 
currence on the side of the street of large open pits, spanned by 
planks, and intended for the accommodation of the public and the 
farmer. Even the better streets, which are paved, are so narrow 
and so covered with awnings that the sun rarely enters, and in 
this warm, damp climate they are always pervaded by disagreeable 

China is probably in the minds of most people associated with 
the old picture in the school books, of a man bearing a pole Avith 
a basket of rats at one end and one of puppies at the other. It 
is generally thought of as the home of all that is curious and 
ridiculous, and as the seat of every kind of vice — views obtained 
not from the early travellers and Jesuit missionaries, who were 
close observers and intimately acquainted with the country, but 
from later visitors who were less observing than prejudiced. 
Confessing that my first impressions of this strange people and 
their land were extremely unfavorable, I shall pass them by in 
silence, giving only those, and in their proper place, which were 
the result of maturer observation. 

The opinions which rapid travellers express concerning the 
character of a people are only too apt to be but the reflex of 
those of their fellow-countrymen who are supposed, during a Ion 
ger residence upon the spot, to have had better opportunity to 
become acquainted with the inhabitants. But it happens that 
the prejudice and hate of race are proportionate to the degree of 
dissimilarity in language, religion, and customs, to say nothing 
of physical qualities. When, therefore, we find in close contact 
two races, so diiferent in every respect as are the European and the 
Chinese, neither understanding, nor having anything in common 
with the other excepting the mutual love of gain, and where this 
intercourse has been maintained at the point of the bayonet, we 
can expect to find but little sympathy between such extremes. 
The average foreigners in China, being wholly ignorant of every- 
thing connected with the history, social organization, and even 
the true character of the people, look down upon them from the 
lofty point of view which, during the past half century, has be- 


come the conventional stand-point. The more ignorant the for- 
eigner, the more proudly he sees in himself the representative of 
the science, the intellectual refinement and material progress of the 
west. To this man the teeming population around him is simply 
a swarm of chattering animals, useful as producers of tea and con- 
sumers of opium. Even if they are human beings, they are only 
heathen, and, in the opinion of this man, who perhaps would not 
begin a journey on Friday, nor make a thirteenth at table, they are 
woefully superstitious. "We cannot Avonder at his treating them 
accordingly, when we find him either tacitly or directly encour- 
aged by public opinion at home, and by the policy of his govern- 
ment. He has learned that a whole nation may be forced to 
consume a poison which at home can be bought only through 
the order of a physician. With this high assurance of the little 
value to be placed upon the moral and physical health of a na- 
tion, how can we wonder that our average representative of west- 
ern civilization, acting on a smaller scale, should make the life 
and rights of a Chinaman subordinate to his own convenience. 

I will give here one of the many instances which I saw illustra- 
tive of this line of conduct. A steam-boat which had been un- 
dergoing repairs, made a trial tnp, crowded with most of the 
leading foreigners of Shanghai, all, like myself, invited for a 
pleasure excursion up the "VVusung river. As we were steaming 
at full speed, we saw some distance ahead of us a large scow 
loaded so heavily with bricks as to be almost unmanageable by 
the oars of four Chinamen who were propelling it. They saw 
the steamer coming, and knowing well how narrow was the chan- 
nel, worked with, all their force to get out of it and let the boat 
pass. As we all stood watching the slow motion of the scow 
which we were rapidly approaching, I listened every instant for 
the order to stop the engine. The unwieldy craft still occupied 
half the channel, the coolies straining every muscle to increase 
her slow motion, and uttering cries which evidently begged for a 
few instants' grace. There was yet time to avoid collision, when 
the pilot called out, " Shall I stop her, sir ? " " No," cried the 
captain, " go ahead." There was no help for it. Horrified at hear- 
ing this cold-blooded order, I waited breathlessly for the crash, 
which soon came. The scow striking under the port bow, veered 
around length^^ise and was almost instr.ntly under the paddles. A 

•20Q ISTRODUGTWN TO CHINA, [chap. xv. 

shriek, a shock, and a staggering motion of our boat, and we 
were again steaming up the channel. Going to the stern I could 
see but one of the four Chinamen, and he was motionless in the 
water. Among the faces of the foreigners on the crowded decks 
there were few traces of the feelings which every new comer 
must experience after witnessing such a scene. The officers of 
the boat looked coolly over the. side to see whether the bow and 
paddles had suffered any damage; and such -remarks as were 
made upon the occurrence, were certainly not in favor of the vic- 

I am aware that in thus describing an incident which I wit- 
nessed as an invited guest, I lay myself open to the charge of hav- 
ing committed a breach of courtesy, and I should certainly have 
passed this by in silence were it not so important an illustration of 
the condition to which our intercourse with the Chinese has been 
brought by long years of misguided policy on the part of the 
foreign and native governments. 

The instance I have cited admitted of no excuse, as a few min- 
utes' time could be of no importance on a pleasure excursion. It 
lias long been the practice of foreign vessels to run into and sink 
any junks or boats that might be in their way, no matter how 
crowded with passengers these might be ; and probably scarcely 
a day passed without a boat being thus sunk in Chinese waters. 

After such an occurrence I was not surprised to see foreigners 
walking through crowded streets, and incessantly belaboring the 
heads of men, women, and children, with heavy walking sticks, to 
open a path, nor at the constant occurrence of similar abuses 
engendered and encouraged by the absence of any means of 
redress on the part of the natives. 

I would not be understood as bringing a sweeping charge 
against all the foreign inhabitants of China. There are many 
noble exceptions, but as such they are powerless beyond the 
sj)here of their own employes. 

Having a strong desire to penetrate into the interior of the em- 
pire, I planned a journey to the upper Yangtz' and its tributaries. 
Before beginning the narrative of this trip it will be well to give 
as briefly as possible a sketch of the geogra.phy of the empire, and 
of the leading features which stand in close connection with the 
development of its history and civilization. 



The eighteen provinces forming China proper, and occupyiug 
a circular area nearly equal to that of the United States east of 
the Mississippi, are bounded on the eastern semi-circle by the 
Pacific ocean, on the west by Thibet, the loftiest mass of mount- 
ain plateau on the globe, and on the north by the table-land of 
Mongolia, stretching from the plains of the Aral sea to the Amoor 

The vertical escarpment of this table-land shuts in the empire 
on the north as with a wall, while two great mountain ranges 
with snowy peaks, the continuation of the Thibetan Kwenlun and 
Himalaya, extend from west to east nearly across the empire in 
the middle and the south. Excepting these two ranges, the con- 
formation of the surface of China is entirely dependent upon the 
parallel ridges which cross the empire from southwest to north- 
east, members of "the great mountain system which in another 
place I have called the Sinians, and which has determined the 
outlines and nearly all the physical features of the great conti 
nent, just as the Appalachians have determined those of the east 
em part of North America. 

Two great rivers, the Hwang Ho in the north, and Yangtz' in 
the middle, traverse the empire. While their general courses are 
detei-mined by the east and west mountain systems, they are affect 
ed by the Sinian ridges, now following the northeasterly course 
of these, and now traversing them through deep gorges. 

By the intersection of mountain ranges belonging to the differ 
ent systems, large basins are formed, which are drained by impor 
tant streams, tributaries of the two great rivers. While these feed 
ers, which form nearly the whole water system of the country 
are in themselves sufficient to make a great main trunk, the uppei 
courses of the Hwang Ho, and especially of the Tangtz', draining 
for a great distance the extensive snow-fields of th6 lofty Kwcn 

208 ACEOSS AMERICA ANL ASIA. [chap. xvi. 

luD, supply the vast floods wliich every summer overflow and fer- 
tilize the lower valleys. 

In the south a third large and navigable river, the SiKiang, tak- 
ing its rise on the table-land of Yunnan, flows eastward to Canton. 
In the extreme southwest, the province of Yunnan is crossed by the 
middle course of the Cambodia, the sources of which are supposed 
to lie among the snow-fields of Thibet. North of the gulf of 
Pechele and the Yellow sea, there lies a broad depression run- 
ning northeast and southwest between the mountains of Corca 
and Manchu.ria on the east, and the table-lands of Mongolia on 
the west. The northern part of this is drained by the Songari 
branch of the Amoor, while the southern part, comprising Shing- 
king, the newest province of China, is watered by the Liau river, 
which empties into the gulf of Pechele. 

An extensive lowland half encircles the mountainous promon- 
tory of Shan-tung. With a breadth varying from one hundred and 
fifty to three hundred miles, it extends six hundred miles from 
Peking in the north to Hang-chau in the south. Its soiithern 
half is the common delta-plain of the Yangtz' and the Hwang 
Ho, Avhile the northern portion is that of the latter river only. 

Leaving out of consideration the rich provinces drained by the 
Si Kiang, and the smaller streams on the southeast coast, China 
proper is opened frofii its remotest, corners by' a wide-spreading 
network' of navigable streams tributary to two of the largest 
rivers of the world, the lower courses of which are united by a 
ship canal, which, crossing them, extends the whole length of the 
great plain. These great river systems, the. one draining the 
semi-tropical region of the middle, the other the. temperate belt 
of the north, are the arteries to which first of all the superabun- 
dant life of the empire is due. Countless fertile and well-watered 
valleys, enjoying the most favorable . climates, and the adjoin- 
ing mountains, produce a list of vegetable and mineral material so 
inexhaustible in every dii-ection, and giving rise to such a widely- 
branching manufacturing industry as to make. of China a self- 
dependent world. To the unsurpassed systeni of inter-communica- 
tion presented by its great rivers, the empire owes the homogen- 
eous character of its population, and largely also its long-con- 
tinued political unity. 

The greatest source of wealth to this country lies in the fertile 


soil of its great plain, of its river bottoms, and of the foot-liills of 
the middle and southern mountains. The higher portions of the 
hilly country, generally either hard granitic rock or compact lime- 
stone, seem to be unproductive. This region, which must cover 
by far the larger part of the empire, seems to have been cleared 
at an early period of the forests which had probably covered it. 

The climate of China, e ven along the coast, is everywhere from 
1 to 3 degrees below that which belongs to its latitudes. At Peking, 
in latitude 40 degrees north, the mean temperature of the year is 
about 53 degrees F., while that of the different seasons is about as 
follows: winter, 29 degrees F. ; spring, 55-| degrees ; summer, T6 
degrees; autumn, 54 degrees. 

At Shanghai, in 34 degrees north, the average for the year is 
about 62 degrees F., with occasional extremes ranging from 24 
degrees in winter to 104 degrees in si^mmer. Snow falls here oc- 
casionally, and during the winter of 1845-6 there were ten days of 
skating on the Wusung river. 

^At Canton , in 23 degrees 12 minutes N. L., the annual mean is 
VO degrees, with extremes ranging from 52 to 85 degrees.* This 
place has the reputation of being the coldest city near sea-level 
in the tropics . 

This variety of climate is accompanied by a corresponding di- 
versity of plant life. On the coast, in the tropical belt, south of 
the Nanling mountains, there grow palms, sugar cane, bananas, 
sweet potatoes, yams, etc. " It is remarkable t that here the violet 
blooms in the shade of the Melostoma; bamboos and conifersmix 
in the same groves, as well as pines and oaks, while potatoes and 
sugar cane are cultivated in the same field." On the northern 
declivity of the Nanling, the southern lip of the basin of the 
Yangtz', there appear the more hardy chestnuts, poplars, conifers, 
and a carpinus. 

Between the northern and southern edges of the great basin of 
the eastern course of the Yangtz', a region nearly six hundred 
miles wide, the low hills and plains are cultivated to their utmost 
capacity, and the variety of products is as great as the range in lati- 
tude. Here the low lands are an unbroken succession of rice, 
cotton, and sugar plantations, while the low hills are covered 
with tea fields in the south and middle, and with wheat and mil- 

« stein nnd Horschelmann. Handbiicli a. Geogr. und Statistik. Asien. t Ibid, 


210 AOBOSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. xn. 

let in the north. The few trees seen are generally about the 
farm houses, and are always of useful kinds, as the bamboo, the 
mulberry and camphor tree, the orange, peach, apricot, and 
pomegranate, the walnut and the chestnut, and we may add the 
grape-vine. It is said that all the European fruits and veget- 
ables, as well as many that are unknown to uSj are cultivated in 

In the extreme north, on the great plainin Chihli, andin the 
highlands south of the great wall, we find rice almost entirely 
replaced by millet and a species of sorghum. Even here, in lati- 
tude 39 degrees 30 minutes, there is raised a large quantity of 
cotton ; but aside from this, great fields of barley, wheat, buck- 
wheat and oats, and of beans, appear more in harmony with this 
northern climate. Here also are raised the castor bean, grapes, 
peaches, pears, apples, and what is with us called the Siberian 
crab-apple, persimmon, and jujube. Almost the only trees seen 
in this region are the willow in long fence rows, planted for char- 
coal, the funereal groves of cypress, and a few ornamental trees, 
generally the silver pine and the salisburia in the teraple grounds. 

The dense population of China leaves slight foothold for wild 
animals in the cultivable regions, and the necessity of cultivat- 
ing every inch of available ground is the reason why one sees no 
more large quadrupeds than are needed to aid in tilling. All the 
tame and wild animals of the country belong to families which 
have a wide range on the continent, unless we may except the 
sUk-worm and the Cicada limbata, which works the pith of the 
Ligustrum lucidum into white wax. Butterflies and beetles with 
brilliant colors abound ; even these are turned to account, being 
sent to the cities in large quantities as ephemeral ornaments for 
the hair of ladies. 

Even in China there are large districts which are but thinly in- 
habited, owing to the proximity of fierce frontier tribes, or to their 
unproductive character. In the far southwest the jungles and \ 
wilds of Yunnan are inhabited by the animals common to Farther V 
India ; among these are the rhinoceros and the Bengal tiger, the 
latter of which probably ranges through the mountains of the 
west and north, as it is found in large numbers in the forests of 
Manchuria and Corea. 
~ The antelope and the deer of the plains of Tartary, and the 



argali of the Altai mountains, are found in the alpine region of the 
northern provinces of Kansuh, Shensi, and Shansi. 

The mineral productions of China are as numerous as those of 
the most favored countries. In the extent, variety, and quality 
of its coal beds, "v vhich are distrihuted th rough every province , 
it ranks second only to the United States. The number of local- 
ities where iron ores are found is very great. Through the west- 
ern provinces there extend immense deposits of salt, from which 
during centuries past the saline waters have been obtained by ar- 
tesian wells pf great depth. Gold, silver, copper, tin, lead, quick- 
silver, and zinc are mentioned by Chinese geographical authorities 
as occurring and being worked at many points throughout the 
empire. Every province has an inexhaustible supply of marbles 
and other ornamental rocks, while at several points large moun- 
tains of de composed granite furnish kaolin the basis of the por- 
celain manufacture. 

In the mountains of the southwest we enter already upon the 
East Indian district of precious stones. 

Before closing this very brief sketch of the physical geogra- 
phy of the country, I may be pardoned for glancing at the high- 
ways which form the principal routes of travel and commerce be- 
tween the different provinces. Chief among these are the three 
great rivers, the Hwang Ho, the Yangtz' Kiang, and the Si Ho . 
Upon these and many of their tributaries commerce is carried on 
by countless flat-bottomed vessels, between one hundred and three 
hundred tons burthen. Smaller boats drain the trade of the 
country almost from the head waters of all the smaller tributa- 
ries. All these craft are propelled by the large buttei-fly sail, 
which admits of running very close to the wind. In addition to 
this they are moved by sculls, by poling, and especially by track- 
ing along the shore. Thus nature has provided the means of 
bringing the productions of the three great basins of the north, 
the middle, and the south, to the ocean, the great highway of the 
world. But the seas of the China coast are dangerous by reason 
of their storms, rocks, and pirates, a circumstance which has led 
to an extensive use of more tedious but safer inland routes of 
communication between the north and the south. Thus trade 
has long been carried on between Cant on and the valley of 
Yangtz' by ascending the Feh Kiang to the JTanling mountains. 

212 AOBOSS AMEBIGA AND ASIA. [chap. xvi. 

and, af ter portaging across these, descending either the S iang 
rive r through Hiinan, or the Kan river through Kliangsi . "~^ 

The products of the extreme south, as well as those of the up- 
per and middle Yangtz', find their way to the far north through 
the great central market of Hankau, by ascending the Han river, 
through Hupeh, portaging into the system of the Hwang Ho, as- 
cending this and its tributary, the Fan river, through Shansi, and 
thence beingj packed on animals to the market of Kalgan, a gate 
of the greatly wall, and the chief distributing point for central 
Asia, Siberia, and Russia. This is the route taken by the fam ous 
caravan teas.* 

±5ut the most important highway connecting the north with 
the south was until lately the imperial canal. This connected 
the waters of the Peiho, and through these the capital, Peking, 
with the waters of the Yellow river, the Yangtz,' and the streams 
of the province of Cheh-Kiang. Running more than six hundred 
miles, the whole length of the great plain, it served the double 
purpose of offering a safe route for large ships, and of draining 
the products of the most densely peopled area in the world. 

These are the great highways of trade, which have long served 
the commercial wants of this productive and populous land. It 
becomes a question of very high impoi';tance, as to how far steam- 
boats can be substituted for the present sailing craft, and to.what 
extent the configuration of the countiy is adapted to the construc- 
tion of great trunk lines of railway. 

For several years river steamers of the largest class have run 
regularly upon the Yangtz' as far as Hankau, over seven hun- 
dred miles from the sea. 

With the exception of the rapids between Hupeh and Sz'chuen, 
there is nothing to prevent the carrying of steam navigation to 
the extreme west of the empire. These rapids are all short, with 
great depth of water, and could without much difficulty be over- 
come. It is probable that the larger tributaries of the Yangtz' 
could be navigated by steamboats similar to those plying on our 
western waters. 

With regard to the Yellow river, we know little beyond the 
fact that it is a large and turbulent stream, second only to the 
Yangtz' in size, and that it probably has a more rapid descent 
in its middle course than the latter. Still there can hardly be a 


question that its entire course across the great plain, and possi- 
■fely as far as the province of Kansuh, is navigable "for steam- 

The valleys of the great rivers offer the most perfect routes for 
opening railway communication between the west and the east. 
The cities of Peking in the north, and Canton in the south, could 
be connected by a remarkably direct line of railway. From 
Peking to the Yangtz' river this would be a perfectly level 
route, traversing the productive and densely peopled great plain. 
From the Tangtz' it would ascend the Kan river by an easy 
grade, and descend the Peh Kiang after overcoming the Nanling, 
the only watershed requiring to be passed throughout its length. 

The amount of steam traffic by rail and water which China is 
capable of supporting is so great that estimates of its extent 
would seem fabulous. Indeed, this capacity is about that which 
a population of four hundred and fifty millions would induce 
upon that portion of the United States lying east of the Missis- 
. sippi river. 

The ocean is not the only great highway by which China is 
approached. From early times the " Middle Kingdom " has held 
intercourse with the remotest parts of Asia. Several land routes 
connect her with Corea and the Amoor river, and through this 
with eastern Siberia, Kamschatka, and the northern islands of 
Japan. By these routes the Chinese obtained the rich furs of the 
northeast in return for tea, tobacco, and textile fabrics. This 
intercourse is of very ancient date, and has made a trading peo- 
ple out of some of the nomad tribes of the Amoor, who are now 
the middle men between the civilized Chinese and the wild hunt-" 
ers and fishermen of Siberia and the northern Pacific. 

Further west, two great caravan routes connect the markets of 
China with those of Siberia. One of these, leaving Kweihwa, 
supplies all central and western Mongolia. The other, starting 
from the great market town Changkiakau, or Kalgan, crosses 
the plateau of Tartary to Maimaichin and Kiachta, where it'con- 
nects with the postal and commercial highway which extends 
through the principal cities of Siberia to the great market towns 
of Tinmen in Tobolsk, and of Nijni-novgorod, the seat of the an- 
nual fair, and the eastern terminus of the European railroad 
system. This is the route followed by the caravan teas which are 

214 ACBOSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. xti. 

transported across Tartary on camels and througli Siberia on 
sleighs. It is a remarkable fact that, although the Russians pay 
for their tea chiefly in silver, it can he delivered at St. Petersburg 
by this overland route from Hankau on the Yangtz' at a less 
cost than the same tea shipped at Hankau in a vessel which 
would take it by sea to the same destination. 

Other great caravan routes, one extending north of the Celes- 
tial mountains through the province Hi, another south of the 
same range through Yarkand, connect northern China with the 
extreme west of Asia. Under the brilliant reign of the Han 
dynasty, nearly two thousand years ago, the latter of these two 
routes was safe for travel, and the greatest highway of commerce 
in the world; it connected the most powerful empires of the 
east and the west — China and Rome — and, between these, the 
then flourishing countries of central Asia, 

In the west and southwest of China an extensive trade has 
always existed with Thibet and India, while the great rivers of 
Farther India have been the avenues of commerce with Birmah 
and Siam. 

During the reign of the Mongol dynasty, when all of conti- 
nental Asia and much of Europe was under the rule of the descen- 
dants of Genghis Khan, these routes were all open, thronged with 
caravans and armies, and studded with relay houses for postal 
couriers. Where Marco Polo could then travel in safety, even a 
Chinaman could now pass only at the risk of life, while to a 
European the joui-ney would be next to impossible. The advance 
of Russian arms in central Asia is fast opening up that region, 
and we may reasonably hope that in a few years those interesting 
countries will be. accessible to exploration and commerce. 



A SUCCESSION of fine days in the beginning of May induced 
me to stai-t upon a journey up the Yangtz'. Going on board 
the "Surprise," we steamed down the Wusung river, and 
out upon the broad estuary of the Yangtz'. The brown flood 
of this great river, the " Son of the Sea," empties into the 
ocean with a breadth of nearly fifty miles . It might be aptly 
called the "father of the land," as the immense quantity of silt 
rolled oceanward by its current is steadily adding to the con- 
tinent, and filling up the Yellow sea. 

During the first day of our journey the river was many miles 
wide, and where the shore was visible the land beyond was hid- 
den by the levees. On the second day the tops of hills were seen 
in the distance rising gradually above the horizon, and promising 
a variety in the sceneiy for the coming day. This promise, how- 
ever, was not to be fulfilled. 

About midnight I was awakened by a loud noise under the 
window of my state-room, which was just astern of the starboard 
wheel-house. Looking out I found that the engine had stopped, 
and a number of Chinamen were trying to lower a boat from the 
davits. Just then the wheels began to move, and supposing that 
we had merely been aground, I returned to my berth and fell 
asleep, to be soon re-awakened. We were again standing still, 
and the Chinamen were making frantic efibrts to loosen the boat, 
while a confused din of shouts and screams from the forward 
deck betokened some most unusual excitement. Knowing that 
we had on board a large number of Chinese passengers, it oc- 
curred to me that they might be merely a gang of rebels or pi- 
rates, who had mutinied in order to seize and rob the steamer. 
Such things had occurred before in Chinese waters, and the mere 
thought of it caused me to buckle on my revolver before going 
forward. The long saloon was empty, and filling with smoke. 

216 ACROSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap, xvii 

Rushing over the forward deck, I nearly fell into a great hole, 
cut from the port side nearly half-way across the vessel. A man 
on the opposite side of this hole warned me to lose no time in 
saving anything I might have of value, adding that although our 
bow was grounded on a sand bank, there was fifty feet of water 
under the stern, and that she must soon break her back and go 
down. The crew and the Chinese passengers were in the boats, 
and the steamer was evidently on fire. I hurried to my state- 
room, and after dressing hastily, set about saving first the money, 
then my charts and instruments, fearing that each instant's delay 
might make me a second too late. Carrying all my property ex- 
cept some toilet articles and a box of cigars, I reached the bow 
and found the man who had warned me already iii the boat and 
on the point of leaving. Learning that we had been run into by 
the " Huquang," a steamer w;hich had been aground up the river 
for eight months, I rushed back to my state-room and saved my 
cigars. Such of my readers as are hard smokers will sympathize 
with me, when I confess that the risk incuri-ed in saving this lux- 
ury seemed slight in comparison with the annoyance caused by 
the privation of it far two days. Before we had pushed off the 
steamer was in flames. 

The collision had been caused by a misunderstanding of sig- 
nals. Mr. Osborne, the captain of our boat, was knocked over- 
board by the shock, and although a good swimmer, was never 
again seen. The collision had actually occurred before I was 
aroused the first time, and when I had gone back to my berth the 
boat was fast sinking, and had I not awakened of my own accord 
I sh ould probably have perished in it. 

As soon as we had reached the " Huquang," the latter contin- 
ued its course down the river, lighted on its way by the flames 
of the burning wreck. 

After a delay of a day or two at Shanghai, I started again 
for the interior on the return trip of the "Huquang." This 
vessel was one of the finest and fastest river steamers in the 
world, and, like the other boats of the line, was built in the 
United States. 

A little more than a day's journey brought us to the wreck of 
the " Surprise." The hull was burned to the water's edge, and 
little else was visible than the frame-work and warped rods of the 


machinery of tliis boat, Tvliicli was once a favorite steamer on the 
California coast. 

About four miles above the scene of the accident we passed 
the point where the Imperial canal crosses the Yangtz' and 
entered the treaty port of Chinkiang. This city had formerly 
great commercial importance from its position at the intersection 
of the two great routes of traffic. But during later years the silt- 
ing up of the canal, and the destruction by the rebels of industry 
and trade throughout the productive neighboring country, had re- 
duced it to a miserable condition. 

In the middle of the river there rises a high and picturesque 
rock, called Silver Island, which forms a favorite subject for native 

Above Chinkiang we left the lowlands and entered the hilly 
district, which, surrounding Nanking with a radius of forty or 
fifty miles, rises like an island from the great plain. As we ap- 
proached the ancient capital of the empire, its gray Avails were 
seen winding across the tops and along the crests of the hills, 
but the city itself was mostly hidden by the inequalities of the 
surface. It was then in the ninth or tenth year of its siege, and 
few of the monuments of its former greatness had been spared by 
the hand of war, or the fanaticism of the rebels. Its grand pa- 
godas and the porcelain tower were so many heaps of ruins. 

The progress of the rebels was everywhere marked by de- 
struction, rapine, and murder. Nowhere did they attempt a re- 
organization of the industry and society Avhich they had trampled 

The rebellion seems to have begun among a clan in the moun- 
tains of Kwangsi, and to have been called into existence by the 
persecution of a small body of religious fanatics. A native who 
had learned something of the doctrines of Christianity and of the 
Old Testament had founded a new sect. Had the officials left 
them in peace, it is probable that the rebellion would never have 
had an existence ; but persecution called forth, resistance which, 
after a few easy successes, took the form of aggression, and tlio 
small religious sect became rapidly an army of insurgent fanatics. 
Appealing to the patriotism of the Chinese, they called upon the 
nation to cast out the foreign Manchu dynasty, and to place upon 
the throne tlie rebel leader, who claimed to be a'descendant of the 

218 ACROSS AMEBIOA AND ASIA. [chap, xvn, 

Mings, and to possess the sacred banner of that dynasty. Ac- 
cording to old prophecies the Mings should regain the empire in 
1852, and the bearer of the sacred banner should be seated on 
the throne.* 

In 1851 the movement had gained large proportions, the impe- 
rial armies being repeatedly beaten, each victory giving whole 
departments to the insurgents. At first the rebels seem to 
have kUled olily the Tartars, treating the people at large kindly, 
and destroying only the property of the Government, and the 
temples and priests of the various religions. Everywhere, how- 
ever, they forced upon the people the ancient Chinese costume, 
and exacted the cutting off of the queus, the distinctive sign of 
allegiance to the Manchus. ~ 

The inefficiency of the successors of the Emperor Kienlung, 
during the present century, had told sadly upon the administra- 
tion of government and justice throughout the empire. Theo- 
retically, all the offices are given only to those who prove them- 
selves in character and by competitive examination to be capa- 
ble of honestly and intelligently performing their duties. During 
the brighter periods of Chinese history this rule has been followed, 
and has undoubtedly conduced to the great prosperity of the na- 
tion. But the war with England, following it is true after a long 
interval upon the protracted and costly expeditions of Kienlung 
against the Tartars, had so completely depleted the treasury that 
the Government resorted to the sale of offices, the most demoral- 
izing means of recuperation. The first consequence of this course 
was the transformation of magistrates into extortioners. The 
sale for ten or twenty thousand dollars of offices nominally worth 
two thousand, was a direct authorization of dishonesty on the part 
of the official, and of the establishment around him of the terrible 
machinery by which the people of his district were robbed. 

Every nook and corner of this vast empire, where population 
treads closely upon and often beyond the limits of production, 
had suffered for years the evils of this corruption. Thus the peo- 
ple had neither the power to resist the rebellion nor the love of 
the Government which was necessary to rouse them to extraor- 
dinary efforts. They either submitted passively to the insurgents, 
swelling their ranks, or fled in terror before them. 

* MacFarlane's " Insurrection in China." 


In 1852 the movement had grown to a gigantic size. The 
rebels overran the fertile province of Hunan, and captured three 
adjoining cities, Wuchang, Hanyang and Hankau. Here the 
leader, giving the executive power to a few followers, withdrew 
from the sight of his adherents, and, claiming divine attributes, 
directed their movements in accordance with revelations received 
directly from the Supreme Being. It was here, I believe, that he 
for the first time proclaimed his equality with Jesus Christ, whom 
he styled the Elder Brother. Here also he took to himself wives, 
who were assigned to him by revelation. 

Using the Yangtz' river as a highway and base of operation, 
the rebels descended to banking, possessing themselves of the 
cities and provinces on their way, and leaving devastation in 
their track. Nor did the unhappy population of central China 
suffer less at the hands of the imperial troops, who followed or 
preceded the rebels. Their track was marked with equal de- 
struction, and with the bodies of the murdered or starved inhabit- 
ants. Nanking being taken, it became the rebel capital, and the 
base of further operations. 

The city of Suchau — 'Vthe Paris of China " — and nearly all of 
the fertile province o f Kiangsuh, soon fell into the hands of the 
rebels. This, the most populous of the eighteen provinces, is also , 
the principal seat of silk culture, and of all the arts and man u- 

Crossing the Yangtz', the destructive horde overran nearly 
every part of the great plain, entering the province of Chihli, 
and threatening Peking. Had this movement been better organ- 
ized, and less remote from the base of operations, the reign of the 
Manchus would have been brought to an end. 

As it was, the rebels left an awful track of desolation. The 
Hwang Ho (Yellow river), which had for centuries been confined 
to one cou rse by a system of levee s, had gradually raised its be d 
until the stream was high above the surrounding country . Only 
by the annual expenditure of many millions of dollars, and the 
constantly applied labor of an immense force of men, was this 
turbulent river kept from bursting its barriers. The exhaustion 
of the imperial treasury by foreign and internal wars, and the 
oificial corruption reigning throughout the empire, had occasioned 
an almost total neglect of this, the most important public work. 

220 ACSOSS AMEB.IGA AND ASIA. [chap. xvii. 

On the arrival of the rebels, their ranks were swelled by the dis- 
affected and starving guardians of the river. The complete neg- 
lect of the embankments was followed by a breach in these near 
the city of Ifung. For several hundred years the Hwang Ho had 
flowed in an east-southeasterly course into the Yellow sea ; but 
at difereiit times during Chinese history it had traversed almost 
every portion^ tlie great plain. Jj s north ern barri er^ 
this stream, one ot the'iargest m. tne world, now poured witn its 
whole volume over the plain of Uhihli and iShantung, suGme rging 
immense areas, and linding outlets in the gulf of Jr'echelij^several 
hundred miles' north of "its former moutli in the Y ell ow^ea . 
When we consider that the average population of these' two 
northeastern provinces is about four hundred andlfty^"ouls to the 
square mile, and that the region oversowed was by far the most 
pojpulous, some idea can be formed of the magnitude of "the sl i^er^ 
ing which must have obtained. 

In addition to the great-direct loss of life, there came the misery 
entailed by the destruction of crops, and the plunging into beg- 
gary of immense populations. These starving millions, pressing 
in among their more fortunate "neighbors, soon reduced the whole 
country to a condition of famine and anarchy. A necessary result 
of this state of things was the organization of numerous and large 
bands of robbers. This I believe to have been the origin of the 
Nien-fei bands, who have given the Imperial Government much 
trouble, and have generally been confounded with the Taiping 

During the period between 1850 and 1864, every province of 
China, with three or four exceptions, had sufTered fearfully from 
rebellions, having mpre or less connection with the Taiping move- 

Destroying industry wherever they went, the rebels relied upoii^ 
obtaining p ossessio n of the seaport s, a nd collecting the customs 
o f foreign trade as a means of securmg fb reign recognition , and 
of-conti nuing the war till the o verthrow of the Manchu Govern- 
ment. But at the larger seaports they were met by.Jinglisn and 
French "forces, an d they faile d to obtain the benefits of this com - 

: In 1860 a new element entered into this long contest. An 
American by the name of "Ward, acting under a commission from 


the Imperial Government, and assisted by a few daring foreigners, 
organized and disciplined a force of native soldiers. Thoroughly 
practised in the Western drill, kept under the strictest discipline, 
and led into action by the bravest of oiEeers, these native troops 
entirely disproved all Western ideas conce rning; the efficiency o f 
C'liin ese soldiers. Inspiredby the reckless daring of Ward, who was 
always lirst in the breach, these men showed themsel ves unflincVi- 
ingly brave ; a nd as they wrested city after city from the rebels 
by storm, they won the name of the " Ever Victorious Braves." 
General Ward was killed at the taking of Tsekie, and the com- 
mand was transferred to Burgevine, one of bis assistants, and 
like him an American, Continuing in their successful career, the 
" Ever Victorious Braves" increased the number of imperial vic- 
tories, until finally, under the command of Major Gordon, a dis- 
tinguished officer of the English army, they captured the city of 
Suchau, which next to Nanking was the chief rebel stronghold. 
The backbone of the rebellion was now broken, and the taking 
of Suchau was followed in a few months by the fall of Nanking, 
after a siege of nearly eleven years. 

The hope entertained by many missionaries, aind Europeans at 
home, that the Taiping movement would result in a change of 
dynasty, the christianizing of China, and the introduction of 
European civilization, was sadly disajipointed. Throughout the 
whole course of the rebellion the insurgents failed to show the 
slightest power of organization. Their car eer was everywher e 
destructive of life, j )ropert_yj^a nd industr y.''' -^ 

~Jt!ut let us return to the narrative, from which the sight of the 
beleaguered city has drawn us into a digression. Neither Suchau 
nor Nanking had yet fallen, although one of the longest sieges 
in history was drawing toward its close. 

The walls of Chinese cities generally enclose a large area of 
arable land, but no amount of food thus obtainable could long 
support a large population. I confess that it has always been'to 
me a source of wonderment how the inhabitants were kept alive 
during the long sieges of history. Perhaps the practice at Nan- 
king may ofier a solution of the problem. It is said that every 
morning, between certain hours, there was a cessation of hostili- 

* The reader is referred to the Appendix, for several interesting extracts relating to the 
character of the rebellion. 

222 ACSOSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. xvii. 

ties, during which time an immense market was opened in the 
besieging camp, wJiere the rebel garrison could purchase autne 
""necessaries of life. 

Passing out of the imperial lines, we steamed up the river, 
now through a broad valley with isolated hills rising from the 
plain, now approaching near to mountain ranges two and three 
thousand feet high. For many miles below Kiukiang the east 
bank of the river is determined by a range of barren hills, out- 
liers of the Kingteh group, famous for its kaolin and porcelain 
manufactures. A high island rock, picturesque in form, and 
with precipitous sides, rises in the middle of the river. This is 
^the Siau-ku-shan, or Little Orphan island, and the quaint build- 
ings which crown its cliffs have a historical and legendary interest 
among the Chinese. Above this island, the high hills forming 
the east bank are cleft to their base, opening to the traveller a 
view to the outlet of the Poyang lake through a long gorge, with 
high limestone cliffs, and islands with broken outlines. This 
gorge is the gateway for the commerce of the fertile province of 
Kiangsi, and for the great routes of trade connecting the 
Yangtz' river with Canton, with Fuhkien, and with Chehkiang. 
The Poyang lake is connected with one of the largest tea dis- 
tricts by an intricate system of river and canal navigation. The 
cities on its banks have long been the seat of refinement, and its 
picturesque shores are the scene in which are placed many of the 
popular romances, and form the theme of innumerable songs. In 
the wild recesses of the neighboring Liu mountains there are 
sacred caverns and famous monasteries. It was near this lake 
that Abbe Hue had the illness which he has, described with so 
much humor. One can hardly regret the Abbe's sickness, since 
it has supplied us with two such charming descriptions as his 
own, and that of the author of " John Chinaman, M.D.," in a re- 
cent number of the "Atlantic Monthly." 

There were at Kiukiang many refugees fleeing before the 
rebels, and seeking protection in the city, which was now defended 
by foreign powers. A large proportion of these unfortunates 
had been well-to-do families, but now, reduced in numbers by 
violence or starvation, and plundered of everything they had 
possessed, they were indeed pitiful objects. Mothers, whose hus- 
bands had been killed or impressed by the rebels, brought their 


children to foreigners, begging them to adopt them, and praying 
in return only that their little ones might be insured against 

Above Kiu-Kiang the river breaks through several ranges ot 
limestone hills, the rugged cliffs and outlines of which render 
this portion of its course extremely picturesque. Indeed, the jour- 
ney from Chiukiang to Hankau is one not easily to be forgot- 
ten. The river runs for long distances parallel to high moun- 
tain ranges, now hugging them close and undermining their cliffs, 
now bending away and separated from them by gently-sloping 
terraces, again bursting through these lofty barriers in wild gor- 
ges. In other portions of its course it Avanders through broad 
filains, skirting here and there low hills and terrace bluffs, the 
predominating color in these and in the banks generally being a 
bright red, from which the water obtains its brownish tint. The 
hills are barren ; even a tree is rarely seen. But the signs of life 
are everywhere. Tlie gray walls of innumerable cities are con- 
stantly disappearing behind the steamer, and otliers as constantly 
coming into view before it, on the banks of the river and inland 
from it, spreading out over the lowlands, built upon slopes of 
hills, or extending: over the crests, or again entirelv enclosins: iso- 
lated elevations. Look where the traveller will, he is sure to see 
the same gray walls, as dismally monotonous in color and form 
as are their inhabitants in appearance and in daily life. 

At the time of my journey, a depressing air of decay seemed to 
envelop the country and cities of the entire lower com-se of the 
Yangtz'. Dilapidated walls and ruined houses, and an almost 
complete absence of the shipping which once thronged the river, 
were everywhere painfully apparent. But this paralysis was 
easy of explanation, as the causes were still at work. For more 
than ten years this portion of the Yangtz' had been the highway 
of the war, along and on either side of which rebels and imperial 
ists had vied with each other in the Avork of plunder and carnage. 
The countless vessels which had once served the trade of the 
river, had been impressed as transports. Jfearly all legitimate 
trade was destroyed by the war. Small craft, often alternately 
pirates and smugglers, sailing under the protection of a foreign 
flag, and commanded by European desperadoes, preyed upoTi the 
little trade that remained. It was this state of things, especially 

224 ACROSS AMEBICA AND ASIA. [chap. xvil. 

Lhe total destruction of the native carrying interests, tha^ enaljled 
steam navigation to be introduced upon this river without mee t- 
ing -w itli strong opposition. Unce inaugu rated, it became extremely 
popular amoiig the natives, whose capitalis ts became part-owner s 
mtiie boats, while the travel ling Chinaman paid readily the hig h 
rates of passage. 

At Hankau Mr. Breck, the American consul, and agent of Messrs. 
1 lussel & Co., kindly offered me the hospitality of his house, which 
I enjoyed while preparing to continue my journey. 

The cities of Hankau, Wuchang, and Hanyang, situated at the 
junction of the Yangtz' and Han rivers, were estimated by Abbe 
Hue to contain an aggregate population of eight millions. Al- 
though this estimate was probably much exaggerated, it is still 
probable that these three cities, comprising a provincial capital, 
a departmental centre, and a chief market town of the empire, 
formed one of the largest assemblages of population in the world. 
Hankau, almost exactly in the centre of the empire, is the focus 
of commerce for all that immense region which is drained by the 
waters of the upper Yangtz'. It is also the point of trans-ship- 
ment into steamers and sailing vessels for the trade of this region 
with eastern China and the foreign world. Here I saw clipper 
ships taking in cargoes of tea for a direct voyage to England. 
Moreover, it is the starting-point for the large overland trade 
with Russia. 

These cities had been twice taken and nearly destroyed by the 
rebels, and during the whole rebellion were constantly threatened 
with fresh attacks. A panic which followed one of these alarms 
is well described by Sir Harry Parkes, who witnessed it while ac- 
companying the British expedition made in 1861, for the purpose 
of opening the river in accordance with the treaty. 

'•On the 18th, rumors were current in Hankau that a body of 
rebels had appeared in the vicinity of Hwang-chau, fifty miles 
east of Hankau. * * * These rumors became more alarming 
during the night of the 18th, and when it was known on the fol- 
lowing morning that Hwang-chau had fallen, we witnessed a 
signal example of that intense bewilderment and alarm to which 
the Chinese people so readily fall victims. It was generally re- 
ported that rebel eniissaries had passed through the streets at 
dead of night, knocking at the door of each house, and warning 


the inliabitants to take to flight; and though this, if it occiu-red 
at all, may only have been the work of local marauders, who have 
their own objects in promoting confusion, it was faithfully acted 
upon by all the people. As the alarm spread and it became 
diflicult to procure the means of conveyance, they soon aban- 
doned all care for their property, and sought only to secure 
their personal safety. The consternation was as great on the 
"Wuchang as on the Hankau side : in both cases the population 
rushed frantically down to the water-side ; and several instances 
of suffocation in the narrow streets, and in the struggle to gain 
the boats, are reported to have occurred. Scenes of great dis- 
tress were observed by those among us who landed to inform 
ourselves of the state of affairs. We were asked on all sides by 
the people themselves, for the intelligence we ourselves were in 
quest of, while others who had made our acquaintance begged us 
to protect their property, or to aid them in getting away from 
the place. Darkness fell upon crowds of the people lying with 
their weeping families and the debris of their property under the 
walls of "Wuchang, anxious only to escape from defences that 
should have proved their protection, and which, as they are of 
considerable strength, would, if projierly defended, be proof 
against any ordinary Chinese attack. The noise and cries at- 
tending their embarkation continued throughout the night, but 
daylight broiight with it a stillness that was not less impressive 
than the previous commotion ; by that time all the fugitives had 
left the shore ; and the river, as far as the eye could reach, was 
covered with junks and boats of every description, bearing slowly 
away up stream the bulk of the population of three cities, which 
a few days before we had computed at one million of souls. 
From such a spectacle we could only draw two painful conclu- 
sions : the one, that the rebels were held in detestation by the 
people who thus fled from them ; the other, that the people had 
abandoned all hope in the power of the Government to protect 

It was just two years after the occurrence of this panic that I 
visited these cities. Hankau, always an important centre, under 
the protection of foreign flags and the impetus given by foreign 
trade, was rapidly becoming one of the most populous cities in the 


226 ACROSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. xvii. 

Crossing over to Wnchang, the provincial capital, I was struck 
with the fact that while Hankau had far outgrown its former 
limits, the population of its neighbor had shrunken to a fraction 
of its recent size. Under the guidance of some ragged soldiers, 
I took a long ramble along the top of the city wall, which is said 
oo extend fourteen miles around the city. It had suffered very 
much during the rebellion, and had recently been repaired at an 
enormous exjjense. Chinese cities, especially the more impo r- 
tant ones, contain within their defences extensive areas of culti- 
vable land, intended to supply the population during long sieges. 
But the great extent of wali whichlFlhus made necessary, must 
render the greater n umber of towns indefensible, and prove a 
source of weakness during civil wars! fivrt,. ',■ '~p^AjLZ7T^~i'^ 

Excepting along a few of the principal streets, the city was in 
ruins. Grass was springing up on the top of the wall, and among 
it there was growing the Avild strawberry ; but it had a sickening- 
taste, which was common to this fruit wherever I found it in 
Asia. JJesceudmg trom the wail, i started upon a stroll through 
the ruined part of the city ; but, overcome by the accumulated 
filth, I was soon forced to abandon the attempt in disgust. Re- 
turning to the inhabited streets, these were found to be but little 
better. They were indeed paved, but being scarcely more than 
from eight to twelve feet wide, enclosed between two-story build- 

ings, and overhung by awnings, they were rarely penetrated by 
the rays of the sun. The atmosphere was reeking with the hor- 
rible stench rising from foul gutters. It was partly to the walk '' 
through these streets that I owed a long illness during tlie fol- 
lowing summer. 

Hastening out of this pestilential atmosphere, I crossed over 
to Hanyang. This city was a complete ruin. Only here and 
there appeared an inhabited house, while from the top of a high 
ridge which traverses the town, the ruined walls and dwellings 
were visible on all sides. This narrow ridge is continued on the 
opposite side of the river, through the centre of Wuchang, where 
several streets are said to pass through it in tunnels. 

In making the preparations for the continuation of my jour- 
ney I was largely indebted to the kind assistance of Mr. Dick, 
of the Imperial Maritime Customs. While I was fearing lest I 
should have to make the journey alone, I found in the Rev. 


Josiah Cox a companion without wliom I could hardly have made 
the trip. 

My plan was to penetrate the coal fields of southern Hunan, 
and thence returning to the Yangtz' river to ascend this to 
Sz'chuen. But from every side we were warned against enter- 
ing Hu-nan, as the population of that province Avas infuriated 
against foreigners. Several months previously some lawless 
soldiers had descended the river in boats which they had im- 
pressed in Hunan. While at Hankau this rabble had kid- 
napped an Englishman, and had nearly murdered him on one of 
their boats. In accordance with the retaliatory policy then 
ruling in China, the English gun-boats stationed at Hankau had 
burned the junk on which the outrage had been ommitted. 
This, instead of being a punishment visited upon the offenders, 
was an injury inflicted uj)on the innocent owners of the vessel. 

The inhabitants of Hunan, who from their frequent intercourse 
with Canton had conceived a deeply-rooted hatred toward for- 
eigners, made common cause in resenting what they considered 
to be an act of injustice. The Catholic missions were attacked, 
their chapels burned, and the native Christians persecuted, while 
the bishop and his priests owed their escape only to the devotion 
of their converts. Although this had happened sometime pre- 
vious to my visit, the hatred of foreigners was said to be still in 
full force. The bishop and other missionaries of Hunan were at 
Hankau, not considering it possible for some time to re-enter 
their field. The presumption was that it would be impossible 
for us to travel in a region where men who were in the habit of 
courting martyrdom, rather than of shunning danger, hesitated to 
enter. Still we determined to make the attempt. The first ne- 
cessity was a disguise. Unfortunately for the execution of this 
plan, nature had made us both decidedly un-Mongolian. Each 
of us stood nearly a head higher than the tallest Chinaman, and 
my light hair and blue eyes would have been very hard to dis- 
guise. The former could have been dyed, and the color of the 
latter hidden under a pair of blue Chinese goggles ; but an insur- 
mountable difiiculty presented itself — I had thoughtlessly had 
my hair cut close just before leaving Shanghai, and there was 
nothing to which a tail could be fastened. So we concluded to 
make a virtue of necessity, and to show that the proper way for 

228 ACROSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. xvii. 

foreigners to travel was as nature and the tailors at home had 
made them. I confess it was not without many misgivings as to 
the success of this plan that we hastened on our preparations. 

Finally, after much searching, we succeeded in finding a pas- 
senger boat of about eighty tons burthen, commanded by a skip- 
per who assured us that he was thoroughly acquainted with the 
waters of Hunan, and of the upper Yangtz'. A carefully worded 
contract was drawn up under the supervision of Mr. Dick and 
Mr. Cox, both of whom were well versed in the language and 
character of the Chinese. Almost the only provisions we laid in 
were rice, sardines, crackers, and ale. 



Ik order to get an early start, we went aboard at midnight on 
the 23d of May. The weather was very warm, and, moored as 
we were at the filthy bank of the river, we slejDt that night in an 
atmosphere which was foul enough to disease any one but a 
Chinaman. Instead of getting an early start we were detained 
nearly all the next day, quarreling over the terms of the contract ; 
and when we finally cast loose, later in the afternoon, I was al- 
ready prostrated by a low fever. During more than a week I 
was too ill to take any interest in the country we were passing 
through, and when, thanks to a vigorous use of quinine, I felt 
myself gradually recovering, we had almost reached the entrance 
to the Tung-ting lake. 

Our boat was a flat-bottomed craft, with a house extending 
nearly two-thirds the length of the deck, and divided into four 
cabins communicating with each other. Givinn; one of these to 
our servants, and another to Mr. Cox's Chinese writer, we made 
ourselves quite comfortable in the remaining two. By means of 
sailing, sculling, poling, and tracking, with a crew of nine men, 
we managed to make about twenty miles a day against the cur- 

From Hankau to the Tung-ting lake the river runs parallel to a 
range of mountains, the rugged and barren crests of which, lying 
some miles distant to the east, form the boundary between Hu- 
nan and Kiangsi. Between these and the river the surface is 
broken with low hills, while these are fringed with broad and 
gently-sloping terrace-plains, Avhich terminate abruptly near the 
river-bank in blufls of a bright-red color. The opposite bank is 
flat, and with it begins the plain of Hupeh, an extensive lowland, 
the silted-up bed of a large inland sea of which the Tung-ting is 
only a remnant. The early historians speak of it as a swamp, 
but it is now cultivated to a great extent, while the countless 

230 A0R0S8 AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. xvm. 

lakes, creeks, and canals, forming a navigable network between 
the Han and the Yangtz', make every part of it accessible. 

Passing the departmental city of Yochau we entered the Tung- 
ting lake with a favorable breeze. This water has the reputa- 
tion of being visited hj dangerous squalls. Therefore, as a pro- 
pitiation of the elements, the discharge of fire-crackers and the 
beating of gongs were prosecuted with more than usual vigor on 
the morning before our entrance upon the treacherous water. 
Not trusting, however, to these preparations alone, our skipper 
kept quite close to the eastern shore. This is much indented with 
little bays, miniature fiords, shut in by high red cliffs of the ter- 
race formation. In the background the country is mountainous ; 
ridge after ridge, made up of pyramidal and uniformly grass-cov- 
ered hills, rising away to the eastward, form a green highland 
extending to the high and rugged mountain range which forms 
the eastern boundary of the province. 

Twenty-four hours of sailing and sculling brought us in sight 
of the southern shore of the lake. The season of high-water was 
approaching, and the level of the lake was gradually rising. A 
lofty pagoda, whose base was washed by the increasing waters, 
served as a landmark to guide us toward the mouth of the Si- 
ang river. This pagoda was one of the few left standing by the 
rebels in their destructive course. These beautiful towers, which 
form the most characteristic feature of Chinese landscap e, are al- 
;g3ys polygonal, and built with a n odd number of storie s, and are 
sometimes nearly two hundred feet higli. The'exterior is often 
highly ornamented and built with glazed tiles. The famous 
tower at Nanking was faced with blocks of fine porcelain. The 
walls, always of great thickness, are built to last for ages. Stand- 
ing in close connection with the Fung-shui doctrine, the strongest 
of the Chinese superstitions, they" exert as the people believe a 
most powerful influence in contro lling certain supposed currents 
i n earth and air, which are believed to be important agents in 
modifying, for better or worse, climate, crops, health, and even the 
ordinary actions of man. Strangely enough, one of the strongest 
objections raised by the Chinese against the introduction of tele- 
graphs ancTraA lroaas, is that they would disturb the course ofthese 
currents and'b ring calamilieslip'o'irtlfe nation^ 

Soon after entering thFSiang riverwe~pas"seT'the village of Si- 


ang-in (hieii). Prettily situated upon the bluffs, and abounding in 
shade trees, it -was, as seen from a distance, one of the very few 
agreeable-looking villagea which it was our lot to pass. It is 
celebrated for its manufacture of rough earthenware, for which 
the red terrace clay supplies the material. We felt half inclined 
to suspect that the presence of the trees was due to their value 
for making charcoal, rather than to any less utilitarian cause. 
Possibly, had we closely questioned the inhabitants concerning 
some of the largest and finest of these trees, we should have 
found that they were being spared till they were large enough 
to cut up into respectable coffins for some fat Chinamen. 

The valley of the Siang lies between high hills, fringed Avith 
the same red terraces that we have seen bordering the lake. 

Two days of tracking and poling brought us in sight of the 
walls of Changsha, (fu), the capital of Hunan. 

During the past few days we had several times been seriously 
annoyed by attempts to impress our boat on the part of soldiers 
descending the river. Hitherto Mr. Cox had prevented them 
from boarding us by explaining the power of our passport. But 
as we were slowly moving up the river, along the bank opposite 
Changsha, a party of soldiers had come aboard and raised the 
imperial flag, before we were aware of their presence. In vain 
we urged the I'ights guaranteed by our passports ; they insisted 
upon keeping the boat. Not wishing to resort to force we made 
a compromise, by which they agreed to remove the flag, while we 
promised to remain moored to the bank until they should return 
with an officer. It was clear that we should have to await their 
return from the city ; and as the river, owing to the inundation, 
w^as a mile or a mile and a half wide, with a swift current, we 
could hardly expect them under two or three hours. We moored 
under a low bank, the bow of the boat being connected with the 
shore by a rope of braided bamboo. 

A little before sunset several boats loaded with soldiers made 
their way across the i-iver and landed just above us, and we saw 
immediately that they had brought no officer. Three of our 
foi-mer visitors immediately came on board and renewed their de- 
mand for the boat. Mr. Cox met them forward, and while refus- 
ing to give up the craft, first requested, and finally ordered them, 
to leave us ; while at the same time, Avith the .utmost coolness, ho 

232 ACROSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap, xviii. 

prevented any more soldiers from jumping on board at the only- 
place where the boat touched the shore. In the meantime an ex- 
cited crowd of one hundred and fifty or more villagers and sol- 
diers, armed with swords and pikes, had collected on the bank, 
and were shouting out to those upon our boat to kill the foreign 
devils. One of the three, running aft along the platform which 
surrounded the boat, attempted to beat in the cabin dooi-. Feel- 
ing that words would be no longer of use, I threw the door open 
from the inside, and giving the man a sudden blow as he started 
back, sent him headlong into the river. This was the signal for 
a general attack. The mob having neither fire-arms nor stones, 
opened upon us with a perfect storm of lumps of sun-burnt clay. 
They were more successful with these than with their pikes, which 
were too heavy to be conveniently managed across the twelve 
feet of water between us and the sliore ; still it Avas not always 
easy to dodge their thrusts, and not wishing either to be spitted 
on such a weapon, or to be beaten to a jelly by tlieir missiles, I 
drew my revolver, which had served so well in Arizona, and 
opened fire upon the crowd. Unfortunately, in the confusion of 
the moment, I dropped the pistol overboard. In an instant, how- 
ever, I got another from the cabin, and re-opened upon the mob, 
supported by my companion, who showed far more coolness than 
myself. Our bullets caused the assailing party to fall back, and 
before they could return to the attack a new actor, or rather ac- 
tress, came upon the scene in the person of our skipper's wife. 
Flourishing an immense knife, she rushed to the bow of the boat, 
and began to hack away at the bamboo rope by which we were 
moored, at the same time pouring forth such a torrent of abuse 
as can only flow in Chinese accents from the tongue of a Chi- 
nese virago. In the meantime the crowd, although kept at a dis- 
tance by our pistols, made her the focus of a volley of missiles. 
She stood the attack bravely, never flinching either from her 
work with her knife or from her torrent of invectives. Clearly 
the Chinaman was right who said that a woman gains in her 
tongue what she loses in her feet. 

Suddenly the cable parted, and yielding to the cun-ent the 
boat whirled quickly into the stream. A new difficulty now 
arose; all the crew had jumped ashore and run off in the begin- 
ning of the fight, except the captain and one man, and these 


were found liidden away below the deck. We should hardly 
have discovered them had not the skipper's wife appeared drag- 
ging her lord and his companion by their tails. All we could 
now do Avas to guide our craft toward a small island which lay 
about a mile below us. It was already nearly dark, and heavy 
clouds betokened a coming storm. We could see the soldiers 
embark and make their way as rapidly as possible across the 
river, where Ave knew there was a large force of their lawless 
comrades, and from these we expected a more determined visit 
during the night. We had hardly moored to the island before 
the storm came on, and with such a fury that it was evident 
we should be safe from any attack while it lasted. It was 
almost morning before the waters were quieted enough for us to 
send a man in the small boat to Changsha, with a letter to the 
Lieutenant-Governor of tiie province. In this document we com- 
plained of the soldiers, and asked for an escort to accompany us 
up the river beyond the city. 

Soon after daylight a boat was seen coming toward us from 
the town. We Avatched it rather anxiously through our glasses, 
not knowing whether it contained friends or enemies. We were, 
however, quite prepared for the latter event, having all our arms 
spread out, including even an old " Tower musket," loaded Avith 
revolver balls. The boat, which was a large one, contained some 
twenty or thirty soldiers, among whom we discovered to our 
relief three military officers. 

As soon as these officials Avere seated in our cabin they in- 
formed us that they had been sent by the Lieutenant-Governor 
to offer any assistance we might need. His Excellency, they 
said, had already received instructions from the Viceroy to 
aid us on our journey, and His Excellency had heard with the 
most profound sorrow of the attack made by lawless soldiers 
upon the honorable members of the exalted American country, 
and of the exalted English country ; the soldiers, then on their 
Avay to Nanking, were desperadoes, robbing and murdering 
Avherever they went, and were utterly beyond the control of His 
Excellency, or even of their own officers. These visitors gave 
us to understand that they were instructed to escort us during 
the rest of our trip on the Siang river ; but either having formed 
an unfavorable opinion of our commissariat, or for some other 

234 ACROSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap, xviir. 

reason, they suddenly, left us a; few miles above the city, inviting 
us to visit them on our return. 

During two days .we continued our journey up-stream, gather- 
ing at every opportunity information concerning the coal dis- 
tricts. Many boats passed us loaded with coals fi'om Southern 
Hunan ; but we observed that they were invariably smaller than 
our own craft. From the crews of these boats we learned that it 
would be necessary to change our means of conveyance, that 
even then we could hardly reach the mines in less than three 
weeks, and that the journey would be attended with much dan- 
ger, owing to the existing excitement against foreigners. Find- 
ing these statements corroborated at every step, I determined to 
turn back at Siang-tan. 

Siang-tan is another of the great market towns — the collecting 
and distributing point for a large tea district. 

Our progress down stream was very rapid. 

The liills, which approach the river, consisted of argillaceous 
slate, limestone, and sand-stone. The last two rocks are exten- 
sively quarried — the sandstone in large blocks for building 
material, while the limestone is burned. 

Seeing a large number of kilns in operation at Ting-tan, below 
Siang-tan, we landed, for the purpose of examining the process. 
The decided coolness with which the people at first received us 
soon melted before the polite bearing and " Confucian quota- 
tions" of Mr. Cox, and we were soon being shown over the 
premises. The burning is carried on in circular kilns of from 
twenty to thirty feet in diameter, which are built up of alternate 
layers of limestone and coal, the enclosing wall being constructed 
at the same time with large blocks of the same stone. As the 
kiln increases in height the outer wall is secured by encircling 
ropes of braided bamboo. 

Here, as everywhere else in the province, I was struck with 
the neatness and apparent prosperity of the people. It was al- 
most impossible to believe that the horrors of the rebellion had 
recently swept backward and forward through this land, and 
that scarcely ten years had passed since army after army of im- 
perialists and rebels had laid waste to complete ruin the fields 
and towns now so smiling and prosperous. What better argu- 
ment could be brought forward against the repeated assertions 


of national decay, and of corruption, moral and physical, social 
and political, that are charged against this people ? Surely the 
same laws of nature must apply as well to nations, as ,to the fam- 
ilies and individuals of which they are formed ; and, as in the 
human body, the rapidity with which a wound heals is a measure 
of the soundness of the body, so it should seem that the rapid 
recovciy of Chinese provinces from the effects of gigantic politi- 
cal wounds is an indicati on of a most vigorous vitality, both na- 
tional and individual. 

Tlie next day after leaving Siang-tan we came in sight of 
Changsha, and of the dense forest of masts lining the shore for 
two or three miles in front of the city. 

Thinking to enter the town, we proceeded to lookup the boat of 
the officer who had escorted us, and who, being in command of 
the river police, lived on his flag-ship. Having found this and 
moored our boat near by, we sent on board our cards and compli- 
ments, and soon received a visit in return. Our former guest was 
this time -accompanied by the chief of police ot the city. The 
latter gentleman had just given orders to facilitate our visit to 
the Lieutenant-Governor, when we became aArare of an increasing 
distant rumbling noise. Just then the attendants of our visitors 
rushed in, pale and excited, proclaiming the approach of a mob. 
Opening the door, our eyes were greeted with a sight which, 
once seen, cannot easily be forgotten. Some ten or twelve tiers 
of boats moored close together lay between us and the shore. 
Beyond these the whole space between the city wall and the river, 
as far as the eye could reach, was densely packed with human 
beings. Evidently the news of our coming had preceded us, 
and the report of the arrival of the foreign devils had spread 
like lightning. Apparently the whole male population of an 
immense city was pouring out of the gates. Surging and clash- 
ing like an endless and many-colored wave, it rolled down the 
sloping bank, and advanced over the intervening boajs, Avhich 
rocked and swayed, threatening to go down under the moving 
mass that was sweeping over them. From exclamations heard 
on every side, we saw that the intentions of the crowd were any- 
thing but friendly. They were not less than thirty thousand 
strong. Pale, and with chattering teeth, our visitors hurried into 
their boat, and, beseeching us to flee, for our lives, shot across the 

236 ACSOSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap, xviii 

river. The skipper had gone ashore, but without waiting for him 
we made quick work in casting loose, and in an instant were 
whirled into the current. We were none too soon, for already a 
half-dozen of the unwelcome visitors had sprung on board ; and 
now to their great surprise found themselves prisoners. Now 
that we were safe, we could look back with a different kind of 
interest on the imposing scene presented by this yelling mass of 
humanity. Our involuntary guests protested that they, as well as 
most of the crowd, had been attracted simply by a desire to see 
the honorable foreigners. They said, however, that the soldiers 
were inciting the crowd to mob us. 

Many lives must have been lost in the frantic rush of these 
thousands over the boats, and unquestionably the authorities 
trembled till they had news of our safety. There is nothing that the 
Chinese officials fear so much as mobs in large cities. These dis- 
turbances give full play to lawless characters, while the force of 
the police bears no proportion whatever to the necessities of 
such cases. 

Seeking the island which had once before given us a shelter, 
we waited till the return of the skipper. 

For some distance above the mouth of the Siang the west 
bank is bordered by a lowland, which forms the southern border 
of the lake, and is apparently a delta-plain, produced by the Si- 
ang, the Tsz', and Yuen rivers. This lowland is traversed by 
many channels, into one of which — the Lung-tan Ho — we entered, 
in order to reach the west end of the lake without being exposed 
to the full force of the wind sweeping across a broad sheet of 
water. The greater part of the lowland was already inundated, 
and many farm-houses and even villages were partially under 
water. The inhabitants were fearing serious injury to the crops, 
and it was with great difficulty that we could purchase from place 
to place a scanty supply of rice. In anticipation of a famine the 
authorities had forbidden the sale of provisions to non-residents 
in larger amounts than was absolutely necessary to keep them 
from starving. Two days' journey westward brought us again to 
the lake, and after waiting forty-eight hours for a fair wind, we 
crossed over to the mouth of a river which communicates through 
the Tai-ping canal with the Yangtz' Kiang. The river-course was 
not distinguishable, owing to the wide-spread inundation ; but 


when we reached the canal we found the country on either side 
of tliis ten or fifteen feet above the water. 

In this, as in most Chinese canals, it is hard to distinguish be- 
tween the work of nature and the Avork of man. We were two 
days and a half with a fair wind in going from the lake to the 
Yangtz'. Tlic canal Avas found generally to have over five tat h- 
oms of water in the middle, and from three to four fathoms with 
ill forty leet ot the bank. The width of the stream flowing 
through it was two hundred and fifty or three hundred yards at 
the time of our visit, while at its junction with the Yangtz', its 
breadth was five hundred or six hundred yards. This was during 
high water; during the season of low water, in 1861, Captain 
Blakistone found it to be only one hundred yards broad at the 
entrance. The current from the Yangtz' to the Tung-ting lake 
was very strong. 

We were again upon the broad, s^naft stream of the Yangtz', 
oi', as it is called in this part of its course, the Kin-sha Kiang— the 
river of golden sand — a name derived from the gold washings 
which occur along its course through Sz'chuen and Yunnan. 
An incident occurred during our journey tlirough the canal, 
which was followed by some little annoyance. We had arrived 
during the night at one of the many inland custom-houses at 
which duties and tonnage dues are collected on all shipping. 
Having to wait till daylight for the arrival of the officials, we 
found ourselves in the morning surrounded by a number of junks 
which had come in during the night. Among these was one 
which carried a flag with the inscription, " Great French Nation." 
Knowing that M. Simon, a French gentleman, who was studying 
the agriculture and horticulture of Cliina, was at that moment 
travelling on the Yangtz', and thinking that a meeting would be 
not less agreeable to him than to us, I addressed a polite note to 
him, which we sent on board by Mr. Cox's Chinese writer. Ho 
soon returned, accompanied by a Chinaman, who informed us 
that M. Simon and his companion had taken another boat for 
their journey, and that the one which we had seen was then on 
the way to Changsha, carrying some wine. The man showed 
great trepidation, and betrayed throughout the fact that he was 
lying. After his return to the junk it weighed anchor instantly, 
and made off with all possible haste ; but instead of steering 

238 ACROSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap, xviii. 

toward Changsha, went in the direction of the Yangtz' river. 
After finishing our business with the custom-house, we thought 
little more of the occurrence of the morning till we approached 
the city of Taiping-kau, at the entrance to the Yangtz'. As we 
neared the shipping we observed the Frenchman's junk sailing 
some distance ahead of us, and that a large number of boats 
loaded with people were putting off from the shore to see the 
foreign devils ; but we saw also that these boats invariably 
turned away from our predecessor and came toward us. Now, 
there is nothing in the world more trying to the nerves than to 
be over-run by a crowd of even friendly Chinamen ; one must 
submit to being felt of, stared at, and having the texture of his 
hair and clothes tested ; to having his hat and boots tried on and 
passed around the crowd, with the chance of their disappearing 
in the capacious pockets of some acquisitive visitor. And all 
this must be submitted to until the whole population of a large 
town has satisfied its curiosity. There is no other alternative 
than to submit or fight, and the less fighting that pioneer ti-avel- 
lers do the better for themselves and for those who follow them. 
It had been our practice to avoid observation as much as possi- 
ble in passing large cities, and it was therefore with a feeling of 
annoyance that we sat in our cabin awaiting the coming devel- 
opment. The boats soon began to arrive. 

"Where are the western barbarians?" asked several of the 

" There are none here," answered our men with perfect com- 
posure ; " why don't you go to the boat with the French flag ? " 

" So we did, but they told us there that that was only the bag- 
gage boat, and that the barbarians were in this one." 

" Do you suppose," returned our men, " that they would be such 
fools as to use that fine boat for baggage, and travel in this mis- 
erable craft? I think I saw the barbarians on that large junk," 
pointing to a vessel a little distance down the canal. Our would- 
be visitors, completely deceived, started off on the false scent, 
while we passed the city, and moored for the night on the oppo- 
site bank of the Yangtz'. We ascertained afterward that Mr. 
Simon and his companions were really on board the junk which 
carried the flag. 

The next day, with the help of a light breeze, we made the town 


of Tung-tse, twenty-seven miles up the river, where we moored for 
the night. It is customary for the river craft to congregate in 
large numbers at night, for the sake of mutual protection against 
pii-ates. Thus, along the rivers, certain places have become 
mooi'ing stations, to reach which the crews of junks bend every 
effort. At such places there are night-watchmen always walk- 
ing the river bank, on the lookout for thieves, when they come 
from either land or water. We generally avoided these congre- 
gations, but, reaching Tung-tse toward sunset, we moored on the 
outskirt of the boats already there, and were soon shut in on 
all sides by those which came after us. A man has need to be 
deaf, or born a Chinaman, to endure with composure the ordeal 
of a night in such an assemblage. The din of a Chinese crowd 
is always great, but hei"e it is as varied as terrible. The shout- 
ings and invectives of the sailors, during the confusion of mooring, 
is soon mingled with the shrill notes of female voices. If each 
sailor makes more noise than his skipper, the wife of the latter 
makes more than all together. There seems to be an incessant 
quarrel about food, between the crew and their mistress, Avho 
reigns as supremely as shrewdly over the commissariat. But 
for one word from a sailor, the virago gives tv/enty, and with a 
force of invective which forebodes rather a diminution than an 
increase of rice. Loudest, because nearest, were the deafening- 
accents of the mistress of our boat ; but on all sides the same in- 
cessant wrangling could be heard, with the woman's voice domi- 
nating. After about half-an-hour of this vocal exercise, and 
when it seemed to be just reaching a climax, there suddenly 
sounded a gong. Quick as lightning every boat resj)onded. 
From one end to the other of the vast fleet of junks, from a 
thousand gongs there poured out a deafening din, tearing the 
night air with the quickly-growing and dying shrieks and groans 
of the accursed instrument. The reader, who has often been 
tempted to violate the eighth commandment by carrying off the 
morning gong of some hotel, will appreciate my feelings. Hardly 
had the gongs ceased when a new noise arose, occasioned by the 
explosion of thousands of packages of fire-crackers. It may be 
doubted whether the observance of this superstitious ceremony is 
followed from a belief in its power over, evil spirits, or from .in 
actual knowledge of its effect on the female tongue. Certainly 

240 AGSOSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap, xviii. 

tlie victory was complete. Gradually the air became slightly 
tainted with the sickening odor of burning opium, and a death- 
like silence reigned through the night. Opium pipes were burn- 
ing on all sides. 

The worst eifects of opium-smoking are probably not propor- 
tionate to the prevalence of the habit. Were it otherwise, the in- 
crease of the practice must be threatening the vitality of the na- 
tion. This vice is one of the fruits of intercourse with European 
civilization. Little more than half a century ago, this drug was 
used only as a medicine ; at present, the importation amounts to 
bet'iveen 5,000 and C,600 tons yearly, which does not represent, 
however, the amount consumed, since witliin recent years a 
rapidly-growing area in China is devoted to its j)roduction. The 
profit netted by the East India Company from the opium trade, ■ 
after deducting all expenses, is estimated to have reached an ag- 
gregate of £67,851,853 sterling. Who can estimate the conse- 
quence of the system, adopted by a Christian government, to in- 
troduce this poison ? As a violation of the laws of nature, this 
deliberate paralyzing of a part of the great body of mankind 
must surely re-act upon the rest of the world. China is adapted, 
by the formation of its surface, by its climate and resources, and 
by the industry of its teeming jiopulation, numbering one-third of 
the human race — by all these it is adapted to become, not only one 
of the most important exporting countries, but also one of the 
largest consuming markets for the products of other nations. 
By as much as we diminish the muscular power and energy of 
this population, by just so much do we injure our own interests, 
by diminishing their power of production, and their ability to 
become purchasers. 

Above Tung-tsc the river makes a great bend, and the charac- 
ter of its scenery changes. The traveller is here approaching the 
central mountain range of the Sinian system, which, though it 
probably rises not more than four or five thousand feet above 
the sea, extends through tlie heart of China, from the southwest 
to the northeast, and finds its prolongation in the mountains of 
IVianchtu-ia between the Amoor river and the Japan sea. 

A journey of two days brought us around the river bend from 
Tnng-tseto Itu (Hieu). Above this place the river runs in al- 
most a straight course from Ichang (fu). For a few miles above 


Itu it is ■bordered by low hills of red sandstone, but beyond 
tbese the mountains rise in towering masses, which grow higher 
and more rugged till they are lost in the highest range, whose 
broken outline is visible in the west over all the intervening 
country. Further up the river the sandstone is succeeded by 
conglomerate, the massive beds of which are cut through by the 
river at right angles to the plain of stratification. Plere the river- 
bed is narrowed and deepened, while the current is perceptibly 
quickened. The shores rise abruptly, often in high cliffs, worn 
into fantastic shapes. As we approached Ichang the hills be- 
came higher and more broken. 

A few miles above the city, at the place designated as Mussul- 
man point on Blakestone's chart, the conglomerate is succeeded 
by limestone : the two rocks conformably stratified, the former upon 
the latter, and rising with a gentle inclination toward the north- 
west. Continuing up stream the river suddenly contracts, and 
the great Yangtz', which a few miles below was over a thousand 
yards wide, is here narrowed to two or three hundred. 

Without previous warning the traveller enters here the Ichang 
gorge, and with it upon some of the grandest river scenery in 
the world. The walls rise eight hundred or a thousand feet, 
overhanging the water in immense perpendicular cliffs of yellow 
limestone, or forming, steep declivities, covered with a luxuriant 
growth of semi-tropical plants. The river, confined to a deep and 
narrow bed, rushes with a strong current through this chasm. 

Long and time-worn chains are clamped into the face of the 
precipitous walls. Catching these rusty links with hooks on long 
poles, the crew moved the vessel slowly against the current, the 
mast often rubbing against overhanging masses of rock. In 
other places flights of hewn steps, and narrow paths cut along 
natural ledges, offer a foothold from which the trackers can drag 
the vessel by long bamboo ropes. 

Deep inaccessible dells, filled with the rich growth of a semi- 
tropical vegetation, break the face of the vertical walls. Streams 
flowing from the mouths of caverns high above the river cool the 
air in their descent, while huge clusters of stalactite which they 
have formed — the work of ages — show well the chemical power of 
the smallest drop, side by side with the mechanical force of the 
rolling rivei'. 

242 AGE08S AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap, xyiir. 

The Ichang gorge is nearly seven miles long. Between its 
rocky walls, the whole volume of the great river, narrowed to 
less than one-third of its usual width, flows in a rapid stream of 
great depth, while water-marks, eighty or more feet ahove the 
winter level, show how great the rise must be during the season 
of inundation. 

In passing through the gorge we had crossed the whole thick- 
ness of the limestone strata from their youngest bed, at Ichang, 
to the metamorphic rocks which underlie them at the vipper end 
of the defile. From measurements made by me at this point, I 
found this limestone formation to have a thickness, at right 
angles with the plane of stratification, of eleven thousand six 
hundred feet, or more than two statute miles. 

Emerging from the northwest end of the gorge, we came into 
an open though undulating country ; low and rounded hills of 
granite and gneiss bordering the river on either side, betrayed 
the fact that we had reached the anti-clinal axis of this impor- 
tant range of elevation. The lofty limestone cliffs recede abruptly 
from the river at the upper end of the defile, but away beyond 
the granite hills one can trace their bold outlines and castellated 
forms, as, after encircling the open valley, they again bend to- 
ward the river, once more to narrow its waters in the Lukan 

We were now approaching the diificult rapids of San-taii-ping. 
Here for a distance of several miles the river rushes with a velo- 
city of eighteen miles an hour. Standing on the bow of our 
boat, and looking at the awful exhibition of the cataract before 
us — at the great river rushing and tearing down its rapid descent, 
and dashing over hidden rocks, forming strong eddies and whu-1- 
pools, whose great circles sweeping rapidly by covered the whole 
surface of the river — it seemed impossible that our heavy boat 
could be made to climb this hill of water. 

But the experience of ages has taught the Chinese to look 
lightly upon these obstacles to inland navigation, and large num- 
bers of vessels, of from a hundred and fifty tons burthen down, 
are constantly making the passage. The inhabitants of a large 
village at the foot of- the rapids obtain their livelihood by track- 
ing boats past the cataract. Arrived at this place the sailors 
beat the gong, and the skipper, going ashore with a bag of cop- 


per coin, engaged one hundred and forty or fifty men. Great 
coils of rope were brought out of the hold and laid in readiness 
apon the deck. The long bamboo tracking-rope was passed 
ashore, attached to the belts of a long row of coolies, and the 
work began. At one moment an eddy would favor us a little 
way, as far as some point of rock, past the end of which the water 
rushed with fearful speed ; then would come a tug. The vessel 
was connected with the shore by the strongest cables, fastened 
to the rocks fore and aft, to secure us in case the tracking-line 
should part. In this way, by the slowest warping, the craft Avas 
brought to stem the wild current, her head being kept in the 
right direction by a long sweep, worked over the bow by several 
men. Other coolies managing a long spar, on the land side, 
kept her clear of the rocks, while others armed with poles cleared 
her from the shore. Every now and then, in spite of all their 
precautions, violent shocks showed that we had struck on sunken 
rocks. Then all was excitement. The air echoed with the beat- 
ing of the gong, accompanied by loud yells, signalling for the 
trackers to stop, and every compartment of the hold was quickly 
examined for signs of damage. 

Twice our tracking-line parted, and then the labor of hours 
was lost, for the cables in each instance were badly fastened, and 
gave way. In an instant our junk was whirled into mid-stream 
and went spinning around like a top, while at the same time she 
swept with fearful speed down the rapids. With no little skill 
our men steadied her with the sweep, and having stopped her 
gyrations, worked the craft by means of the sculls into a shore- 
eddy, and so brought us to the shore. Such accidents are not 
infrequent, and during the headlong course which follows, if the 
boat strikes a hidden rock complete destruction follows. 

It is not an uncommon thing on Chinese rivers to see human 
bodies floating down the current ; but disgusting and painful as 
this occurrence is upon the smooth river, there was something in- 
describably awful in the sight of a swollen and discolored corpse, 
which, coming dashing and rolling down the foaming rapids, swept 
by us on its way to the ocean. The sands under the Yellow sea 
must bury large numbers of Chinamen, the victims of internal 
wars, and of overwhelming inundations. During the last rebel- 
lion the smaller rivers in the neighborhood of large cities were 

244 ACROSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. xvin. 

often clicked with the dead bodies, resulting from the massacre 
of the inhabitants. At the time of the Manchu conquest three 
hundred thousand people were destroyed at Kai-fung (fu) alone, 
by the breaking of the embankments of the Yellow river. * The 
loss of life by sword and flood is proportionate to the immensity 
of the population ; and of the victims a large part must have 
found their graves in the recent deposit on the coast. 

A remarkable instance of the formation of a deposit of fine 
material in the swiftest part of the river is observable in these 
rapids. Granite rocks rising to the surface, near the shore, form 
a n obstruction to the current, which is here from fifteen to eigh t- 
eien miles an hour, causing eddies in their lee, in which a constant 
precipitation of sand takes place. Banks of quicksand are thus 
formed, their tops almost even with the surface of the river. Their 
sides, too steep to remain at rest, are constantly being washed 
away, and as constantly replaced by the freshly precipitated ma- 
terial. At low water these banks line the shores, and during the 
high water season I noticed one more than half a mile long, andi 
twenty-five or thirty feet above the river — the result of some 
previous very high freshet. 

For a distance of six or seven miles the river is more or less 
broken by rapids, caused by the granite core of the range. As 
soon as we had fairly passed this succession of cataracts we were 
near the entrance to the Lukan gorge. The lofty marble clifis, 
after having described broad curves on either side of the rivei-, 
converged suddenly, until they now stood before us two immense 
walls a thousand feet or more high, and separated only by the 
narrowed brea:dth of the river. The gorge is not a quarter as 
long as the one above Ichang. At the western end the valley 
widens a little, and the cliffs, again receding from the river, describe 
a small circle, to converge again a mile or two further up stream. 
Here they again produce a grand defile, called by Blakistone the 
Mi-tan gorge. At the west end of this chasm the limestone dis- 
appears beneath heavy beds of sandstone, and the traveller has 
crossed the principal anti-clinal axis of China. From the gran- 
ite core, which occasions the rapids, the great limestone founda- 
tion dips southeastwardly toAvard Hu-peh, forming the long 
gorge; and northwestwardly toward Sz'chuen, forming the 

* Williams' " Middle Kingdom," Volume I., p. 79. 


Lukan and the Mi-tan defiles. This great body of limestone, 
wliich appears, from such data as I could gather, to be of Devo- 
nian age, exists throughout all China, capping and flanking all 
the principal ranges of elevation, and sinking far beneath the sur- 
face of the intervening areas. Wherever I encountered this 
formation, I found it to disappear under the rocks of the Chinese 
coal-measures ; just as it does at the west end of the Mi-tan 

As soon as we left the defile, the scenery changed completely : 
the high clifis no longer encircled the valley with their lofty cas- 
tellated forms ; the formation to which they belong lay far below 
the surface ; while its uplifted edge, forming a great mountain 
range, was behind us, stretching southwest toward India, and 
northeast toward the Amoor river. The wild and broken 
scenery, to which we had become accustomed, was now succeeded 
by low and symmetrical hills of the sandstones and argillites of 
the coal-measures. 

A few miles above the city of Kwei (chau) we came into the 
coal-field of Kwei and Pah-tung. Here beds of soft anthracite 
are worked by the Chinese by means of galleries driven into the 
hillside. The seams are very thin, rarely attaining more than 
one foot in thickness. 

"W e had been eight davsin accomplishing the last forty mile^ 
ol oiir journey, and the season was so far advanced that I felt 
o bliged to turn back from this point, _a step which I was the mor e 
un wi lling to take that I was now rapidly recovering from a fever 
which had haunted me since leaving Hankau. 

If the journey of the past week had been slow and tedious, the 
return was rapid enough. In a little more than one day we 
rushed through the Mi-tan and Lukan gorges, and in a few min- 
utes jumped the long rapids, shooting at a fearful rate past places 
where we had spent days in ascending, and gliding between the 
walls of the long gorge at a rate we would gladly have lessened 
to enjoy its grand scenery. 

As we approached Ichang we found the river covered with 
boats gayly decked with flags, and moving about amid the music 
of gongs and the firing of guns. Numbers of long slender boats, 
gayly painted, and representing the heads of dragons on the bows, 
were running a warmly-contested race. The good people of Ich- 

24:6 ACSOSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. xnii. 

ang were celebrating a dragon-boat festival. This is said to be 
observed in memory of a much beloved statesman, Wuh-Yuen, 
who about 300 B.C. drowned himself in the Yangtz' Kiang, and 
the festival commemorates the rivalry of the people in searching 
for his body.* 

We were seventeen days in descending from Ichang to Han- 
kau. Strong head-winds detained us for days at a time, and these 
delays were unfortunately on the great plain of Hu-peh, whei-e 
tliere was nothing whatever to interest us. The entire country, 
so far as I travelled in the valley of th e Tfangtz', is barren of 
trees, as is nearly all of the empire. T he only timber we saw 
was in rafts, which had come down the Yuen river from the moun- 
tains of southwestern Hunan, where it is said to be cut and sold to 
the Chinese by the independent Miautsz' mountaineers. Here and 
there about a farm house one may see a few small trees, but 
rarely enough to break the terrible monotony. And the absence 
o|!-animal life, other than men and dogs, with here and there a buf - 
falo, is another feature which strikes the travell er. But man is 
everywhere. Draw your boat along the shore in the most seclud- 
ed places, and land with the firm conviction that you have at 
last found a spot where, free from intrusion, you may relieve 
the monotony of boat-life by a stroll upon the grassy bank ; you 
shall hardly go a rod before your ears will be greeted with the 
exclaination, Yang-kweidsz' ! Yang-kweidsz' ! and as if by magic 
you will be surrounded by the grinning faces and pig-tails of 
inquisitive Chinamen. 

On the nineteenth of July we moored our craft to the wharf at 
Hankau, and ended our boat journey on the upper Yangtz'. Mr. 
Cox, to whose companionship I was indebted for the successful 
issue, and much of the pleasure of the journey, returned to his 
missionary work, while I prepared to leave for Shanghai by the 
first steamer. 

* Williams' " Middle Kingdom." 



If we Americans of to-day turn from the splendid sunrise of 
our national morning, to the misty veil that enshrouds the future, 
we shall see a giant spectre slowly defining its shadowy form 
against the western heavens. 

Let us look and reflect ; for it is the mirage of a distant empire, 
a looming of one-third of the human race. It is the foreshadow- 
ing of a problem which only time can solve ; but which is none 
the less one of the most important in the world's history. Let 
us examine the elements of this problem. On the western shore 
of the Pacific there is a country, not mu ch larger than the United 
States east of the Mississippi, in whi ch a population of more than 
f ourTSundrcd millions treads closely upon the capacity of the soil 
for supporting existence . So true is this, that those years in which 
the productiveness of the earth falls below the average, witness 
widespread famine and all the horrors that follow in its train. 

By untiring patience and industry, by intelligence and the skill 
attained through ages of experience, by uniting all these quali- 
ties in wresting from Nature the last atom she can yield, and, 
finally, b y returning to Mother Earth, with scrupulo us care, all 
that has been taken from her, with interest drawn from sea and 
river, t his race maint ains its vitality unimpai red. But it is a 
straggle for life. So long as the throes of this tremendous 
struggle were confined to China by strong natural and political 
barriers, they found a remedy in decimation by famine and 
, pestilence. But the past twenty years have efiected as grea t 
breachegjnjthe political barrier which the Ch inese ha^ raised 
about themTas twent y centuries have mad e in their ancient wall 
of brick and stone. The s ocial and political restraints which 
have opposed emigration ~are disappearing, and the first con- 
sciousness of an expansive power is beginning to show itself in 
the maritime provinces of the empire. 

248 ACROSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap, xix 

A few years since, the confines of Asia and its ai"cliipelagoes 
were the horizon of the world to every Chinaman. The small 
fields therein' opened to a peaceful race attracted many enter- 
prising emigrants ; but neither were the openings large enough, 
nor the facilifees for reaching them great enough, to initiate any 
very important movement. The discovery of gold in California 
and Australia, and the demand for labor oij_th^_distant shores o f 
the Pacific Ocean, g;ave the needed impulse . Timidly, at first, 
small numbers went abroad ; then tens of thousands ; until now 
there must be nearly two hundred thousand Chinamen on the 
American continents alone. During these years there has been, 
also, a continuous stream returning to Asia, and carrying home, 
in the aggregate, a lai'ge amount of money and information. 
Thus, the number of Chiname n who have seen the outside world 
cannot be far from one per cent, of the whole male ^Jopulation of 
the empire . These act as a leaven on ever-growing circles at 
home, spreading among hundreds of millions those stories of 
adventure in distant lands, of wonders, of boundless demand for 
labor, and of high wages, which make individuals think and be- 
come restless! Thoughts arise, which, when they become com- 
mon to large; numbers, are intensified to a degree -projjortionate 
to the size of 'the masses swayed by them, until the sympathetic 
attraction of remote countries produces the tidal wave and cur- 
rents of emigration. The measure of this movement is the exact 
resultant of all the social and physical forces which operate in its 
action. These are, of course, intricate and obscure beyond com- 
putation ; but tliey are resolvable, in general terms, into one set 
of favorable and opposing forces in China, and other sets, with 
difierent resultants, for each country outside of China. 

In China we have one-third of the human race, sufiering from 
an excessive death-rate and all the misery of an incessant strug- 
gle for life, with no remedy but the ability to overflow into other 
lands, until the population at home shall stand in a proper ratio 
to the means of support. 

Leaving out all other questions, the capacity of America for 
receiving emigration is at present boundless, as compared with 
the capacity of all the world to supply it. An eminent English 
geographer his carefully calculated that the two Americas are 
capable of supporting thirty-six hundred millions of inhabitants. 


Room and subsistence are not wanting. The capacity for ab- 
sorption of labor is scarcely more limited. The ..end of the long - 
continae4_cxodus from Europe ca nnot be far off ; to think othei-- 
wise is to believe unjustifiably in a rapidly-approaching decay of 
the nations beyond the Atlantic. Social a,nd political reforms, 
raising the condition of the people, especially that of the women 
of the lowest classes ; the increase in industrial prosperity, and 
the continued drain of skilled labor to foreign countries ; seem to 
be silently working throughout Europe toward the establish- 
ment of a proper balance between population and means of sup- 

The Chinaman in this coimtry was for years excluded from 
all participation in the development of the national prosperity, 
and was grudgingly allowed to work only in those gold dig- 
gings which were considered worthless by the American. But 
when a pressing necessity arose for labor on the pu.blio works 
of California and Nevada, the Chinaman was found to answer 
every need; and now, having become identified with our in- 
ternal iaiprovements, he has obtained recognition as a necessary 
element of population— the execution of great enterprises is based 
on his co-operation. For Aveal or woe, the Pacific Railroad is 
imiting more distant extremes than the two shores of our conti - 

The facilities for crossing the Pacific are yearly increasing ; 

and so is also the knowledjio of America in China. Unless 

— - — "7 -i. - -i " 

obstacles be placed mthe way, immigration will increase rapidly; 

with additional encouragement it will soon become enormous. 

Having no rights, exposed to continued extortion, treated with 
contempt and indignity, branded as an idolater, and charged 
with every vice by his scrupulously just, religious, and virtuous 
neighbors, the Chinaman, feeling that he has no position here 
seeks California, as the pearl-diver docs the bottom of the sea, 
and retiirns as soon as possible to the free air of his native soil. 
Place these Chinamen on the same footing with other immigrants, 
and the result will be, that, while many will return to the home 
of their forefathers, a large portion will make this the home of 
their descendants. This was and is the case in the Dutch Eas' 
Indies, where they were less oppressed than in California. 

Under these circumstances, if this immigration should be pro- 

250 ACBOSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. xix. 

portionate to the necessity for relief that exists in China, or to 
the capacity for receiving it here ; or, again, if it should bear the 
same relation to the parent population that the emigration from 
Ireland arid Germany bears to the home population of those Coun- 
tries, the male adults of Mongolian origin on this_cont i n ent wo u ld 
£^pon outnumber those of the^uroj jea n j;acg. 

When we consider that the prejudice of race is, with us, a part 
of the foundation of politics ; that the moral characteristics of 
various nationalities become important parts of the framework on 
which parties are constructed ; that the opposing armies which 
fight with the ballot, and at times threaten the sword, are, to a 
large extent, massed by races ; — when we consider this, and then 
turn to the prospect of a homogeneous mass of people among us, 
their male adults outnumbering largely those of all other com- 
ponent parts of the population, and having no sympathetic bond 
with us in their language, traditions, or, so far as it goes for any- 
thing, their religion ; then the social and political importance of 
this great problem dawns on the mind. /^^ Lcn-'. Omi (l-'-if'U 

To the thinker who has come to look upon the Americas as the 
birthright of the European under the tutelage of the Anglo- 
Saxon ; as presenting the prospect of a hemisphere peopled with 
a new race, built up from the best elements of the European, num- 
bering more than twice the present population of the globe ; a 
race which will be homogeneous, enjoying the most complete 
means of iriter-communication by steam and electricity, having 
one language, one form of government, and one idea of God ; 
to him the startling possibilities involved in the problem before 
us co me as the djs covery of neglected data, which m ay invali- 
date the results of years of calculation. 

If the probabilities of the case bear any proximate relation to 
the possibilities, the teeming population of our hemisphere two 
or three centuries hence may have more Chings and Changs in 
their genealogical trees than Smiths and Browns ; for, other things 
being equal, the predominant blood will be that of the race 
best able to maintain an undiminished rate of increase ; and the 
vitalityof the Chinese nation during a constant struggle for life 
seems to bespeak' for it at least equally favorable prospects in less 
crowded homes. 
With an emigration from China standing in the same ratio to 


the home population that the drain from Germany holds to the 
population of that country, we should have an influx of more 
than one million Chinese yearly. Ten years of this rate would 
place upon our soil a preponderance of male adults of Mongolian 
blood over those of all the other families of man among us. 

The perception of this possibility cannot but awaken in the 
mind of the true American the gravest thoughts. The social, 
political, and ethnological questions involved are of transcendant 

The question of the prohibition or the heavy taxation of Chi- 
nese immigration is almost sure to be one of the earliest and 
most bitterly fought political issues of the Far West. The hos- 
tility to ihe Chinese of the white laborers, especially of the Irish, 
is already beginning to show itself openly in the most violent 
acts of intimidation. But it is not difficult to foresee that any 
legislation which has for its object the suppression of any social 
element or force that has once shown itself to be a necessity, in 
rapidly carrying forward the system of internal improvements 
on which a large part of our material industry rests, must ulti- 

We may therefore assume that the recognition of the necessity 
of Chinese labor in the Far West insures an influx of Chinese 
proportionate at least to the extent of the great system of fiublic 
works which will be needful for the growth of the western 
States and Territories. We shall see, further on, that these 
Asiatics are obtaining strong foothold in almost all other branches 
of labor, because they answer the requirements better than any 
other class of people. It is therefore not improbable that they 
will find their way, in large numbers, to this side of the Rocky 

Is it probable that the party warfare of the country will leave 
this enormous quantity of possible political force in the latent 
condition appertaining to aliens ? 

Gaining the right to vote means gaining citizenship, the remo- 
val of disqualifications, and the protection of their distinctive inte- 
rests and customs to a degree proportionate to the number of 
their votes. Having obtained these, the Chinese emigrant will 
become, beyond a doubt, a permanent citizen. 

With this prospect before us it may not be uninterestin"- to 

252 ACSOSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap, xix, 

glance at the characteristics of this race, both in countries to 
which they have emigrated, and in their own home. 

Twenty years of contact between the two races in California 
have done little toward removing the prejudice against the Chi- 
nese. They have poured steadily into and out of the country ; 
but, surrounded by barriers, they have been forced to form a 
world of their own. Within this some fifty thousand men have 
been thriving, while many of them have amassed large fortunes. 
Many an enterprise, too, has swamped in failure, which would 
have given brilliant returns but for the tyranny of white workmen 
who prevented the employment of cheap Chinese labor. This 
tyranny is met with at every step : from the court-room, where 
the Chinaman is denied the right of giving evidence in mixed 
cases, to the " gold diggings," where white rowdies, acting &i self- 
appointed collectors, levy the mining tax, which is never assessed 
upon Americans. Recently, however, various manufactur ers, far- 
mers, and others, braving that wild beast, the Irish mob, have 
begun to employ Chinese labor, and with such success thatcapi - 
talists see in it the sinew and muscle of the li'ar W est. 

A writer in the "Overland Monthly," March, 1869, says of 
the Chinamen : " What they want is employment and such pay as 
will supj)ort them arid leave something over to send back to the 
father and mother, or to the wife and children, left at home. So 
accustomed have they always been to give a full and honest day's 
labor to tliose who have hired them, that they expect to give 
their employer the service of their muscle and their skill during 
all the hours of the day, only asking a reasonable time for meals, 
together with the stipulated wages when their work is done." 

The owners of woollen factories praise them as the best of work- 
men. The ofiicers and foremen of the Central Pacific railroad — on 
which some ten thousand Chinamen are said to be at Avork — speak 
no loss highly of them. Their work is full and honest, no lag- 
ging and story-telling, no whisky drinking, and few fights. Over- 
seers declare that they can drill' more rock and move more dirt 
with £!hinamen, than with an equal number of men who claim 
tills kind of occupation as their speciality. AVhat they lack in 
bodily vigor is made up in persistency and steadiness. 

Indeed, California is just beginning to feel how suicidal hei' 
course toward Asiatic labor has been, and she is finding that her 


material prosperity is increasing apace with the innovation upon 
that policy. The Chinese are found now in woollen, paper, and 
powder mills ; in the borax works ; in the hop plantations, fruit 
orchards, and vineyards ; following the reaping machines on farms, 
and working the salt-pits on the coast ; doing almost universally 
the cooking, and engaged in bimdreds of branches of industry 
that would be impossible without their cheap labor. 

The sure result of this will be that, in a few years, the small 
savings of these workmen will, by accumulation, transform tlio 
coolie of to-day into the capitalist, contracting to build railroads, 
owning large farms or factories, and lines of ships, and making 
great commercial combinations. This is certain, for no people on 
the face of the earth advance so unswervingly in the accumulation 
of capital ; and in its investment from childhood upward they 
combine the shrewdness of the Jew with the many-sidedness of 
the Tankee. What the Jews have been in banking, the Chinese 
may easily become in general commerce and industry on the Pa- 
cific coast. 

On the island of Java, where they have long been tolerated, 
the Chinese number not far from 150,000, the gi-eater part having 
more or less Javan blood. The oppression of the Dutch is the 
cause of the population not being larger. " They are obliged to 
pay a mulct for leave to enter, and a larger one for permissioir 
to quit," besides a poll-tax ; none of which imposts are levied on- 
other foreigners. During the last century they were so badly 
treated that they revolted, and in 1740 were attacked in their 
quarter in Batavia, when ten thousand of them are said to have 
been slaughtered. Sir Stamford Raffles, writing in 1817, says: 
" The most numerous and important class of foreigners in Java 
are the Chinese, who do not fall short of 100,000, and who, with 
a system of free trade and free cultivation, would soon accumulate 
tenfold by natural increase within the island and gradual acces- 
sions of new settlers from home. Tliey arrive at Batavia to the 
amount of a thousand or more in junks, without money or re- 
sources ; but by dint of industry soon acquire comparative opu- 
lence. There are no women in Java who came directly from 
China; but as the Chinese often marry the daughters of their 
countrymen by Javan women, there results a numerous mixed 
race which is often scarcely distinguishable from the native 

254 A0R088 AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. xix. 

Chinese. Many return to China annually in the junks, but by no 
means in the same numbers as they arrive. They are governed 
hi, matters of inheritance and minor affairs by their own laws, 
administered by their own officials appointed by the Dutch gov- 
ernor. They are distinct from the natives, and are in a high de- 
gree more intelligent, more laborious, and more luxurious. They 
are the life and soul of the- commerce of the country. In the na- 
tive provinces they are still the farmers of the revenue, having 
formerly been so throughout the island." 

Beginning on their anival as coolies and laborers, they soon 
accumulate enough to work independently, and many of them 
amass large fortunes. They have obtained nearly the monopoly 
of the native produce, and an uncontrolled command of their 
market for foreign commodities. Their industry embraces the 
whole system of commerce, from the greatest wholesale specula- 
tions to the most minute branches of the retail trade. In then- 
hands are all the manufactories, distilleries, potteries, etc., and 
they have lai'ge coffee and sugar plantations. Their means are 
increased by their knowledge of business, their spirit of enter- 
prise, and their mutual confidence. They are equally well 
adapted for trade or agriculture. 

In the English colony of Singapore, 50,000, out of a population 
of 80,000, are Chinamen, . chiefly from the island of Hainan. 
Here the Chinese have obtained a strong foothold, and, under 
the full protection of English law, are accumulating great for- 
tunes. Nearly all the trade is under their control, and this rep- 
resented, in 1867, $35,000,000 imports and $28,T00,000 exports. 
Carrying Tvith: them and retaining their innate energy in a coun- 
try where both the natives and Europeans succumb, morallv if 
not physically, to the enervating climate, they are absorbin g 
every department of labor . The writer was told some years 
since that the English owners of a large machine shop at Singa- 
pore were gradually removing their English workmen and replac- 
ing them with Chinamen, having found the latter more docile, 
sober, and enduring, and, with the same amount of instruction, 
equally skilfGl. So sjicoessfid is t heir compet ition, that Parsees, 
Jews, and Eur opeans can retain no f ootholdlnface^riE 

The growthbf Chinese p opulation and industrylH^lhe Ea st 
Indian Archipelago is already a matter of great significance. In 


it we may see the coming solution of an important problem. 
The vast areas of tropical lands, insular and continental, have 
hitherto been, comparatively speaking, a closed world. And yet 
"the warm regions yield larger returns of those plants they have 
in common with the temperate zones, and have peculiar plants 
which yield more nourishment from the same area. Thus maize , 
which yields forty-fold or fifty-fold in France, gives one hundred- 
and-fifty-fold, on an av erage, in Mexico." " Humboldt estimates 
that an arpeni (five-sixths of an acre) which will barely support 
two men when sown in wheat, will feed fifty with bananas." 

3. good authority has given the following tabular statement 
of the relation between latitude and productiveness. 

Latitude o deg. 13 deg. 30 deg. 45 deg. 60 deg. 

ProdnctiveneBS lOO 90 65 35 18 1-2 

It is this excessive bounty of tropical nature that feeds the 
Southern races without labor. And the absence, during ages, of 
the necessity for labor in these regions, has unfi tted the natives for 
active participation in making their countries contrib ute t heir full 
share to the needs of mankind. But the tim¥must come, sooner or 
later, when these vast forests and jungles will be the granaries 
from which the deficiencies in the production of other lands will 
be made good ; when they will stand in the same relation to other 
countries that our prairies and the wheat-fields of Russia hold to 
manufacturing England, or that Siam is just beginning to hold 
to China ; and when the great wealth of raw materia l — greater 
by far than we as yet appr eciate — which is contained in the vege - 
table world of the tropics, will be a necessity to countless rriahii- 
factories, supplying comforts and luxuries to largely increased 
populations over the whole world. 

The Chinese alone, of all races, have shown them selves able to 
maintain vigorous moral and physical vitality in the unwholesome 
and enervating climates of the JSout E Wherever they go and 
. are allowed a fair field, they turn their attention to the discovery 
^nd development of the resources of the land -in every dire ction 
known to their experience, and with fully as much good judg- 
mentj energy, and success, as are shown by the Europea n. Indeed, 
they possess, in an eminent degree, the qualities that are essen- 
tial in colonizers, es pecially that strongly-marked nation al indi- 
viduality which enables them to retain the best characteristics of 

256 ACliOSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. xix. 

their race in the midst of the effeminate customs of the infei-i-or 
natives."" The ability to thrive in the mos t extreme cTuna tesls" a 
remarkable characteristic of this people r"™WeTiyreJ5st seen 
how well they resist the enervating and unwholesome climate of 
the tropics. The writer has also seen them — collected together 
from different parts of the Chinese empire — ^pursuing, in consid - 
erable numbers, the different branches of their industry, on the 
confines of T artary and iSiberia, where the mean annual tempe ra- 
ture is t hirty-two degrees (Fahrenheit), and where the" mercury 
sinks, ever y winter, t o sixty d egrees below zer o. So^^z^j c^ a^-'-vi-^ A ' 

Whatever may be the future of China proper, it is perhaps 
not too much to foresee in the mutual adaptation which exists 
between tropical regions and Chmese colonization, the germ of a 
growth in which the best elements of their own and the western 
civilizations will blend to raise the offshoots of China to the rank 
of great powers in the councils of the world. 

But it is in their own home and in the record of their national 
growth that we must seek the most important data for estimat- 
ing the Chinese character. The limited space at my disposal 
admits of only a superficial glance at the outlines of this record, 
and the principles on which the social and political organizations 
rest. For the practical worth and working of these principles, 
we have a measui-e in the present social and political condition 
of the empire. 

The most striking features in the history of China a£ e the per - 
sigtencyiof -its civilization and its national vit a lity , wliich seems 
stm undiminished notwithstanding the great age of the emipire. 
This civilization is native to the soil. At every step we find 
unmistakable proofs that in remote times the ancestors of the 
race lived under a patriarchal government. The earliest record s 
describe them as en tering China from the northwest , and we 
^k"now that in that direction, upon the high table-lands of central 
Asia, between Thibet and the Tienshan, there existed a civiliza- 
tion which was partly pastoral, but acquainted also with many 
arts, and in which the use of iron was known at the remote period 
preceding the separation of the earlier branches of the Arian 
race. Our own ancestors, and those of the Chinese, were per- 
haps near neighbors at that epoch. In entering China the latter 
found it occupied by an aboriginal race of which remnants live, 


to this day unconquere d, in the southern and western mountains ^ 
The earliest records and traditions, carrying us hact far into the 
uncertain period of history, show us the founders of the empire 
gradually forming colonies through the land, and carrying on 
defensive wars against the northern hordes, at the same time that 
they conquered Loth the natives of the soil and the natural obsta- 
cles in the way of their expansion. 

Already in the dawn of their written history, we find them 
carrying out a great enterprise, building works to control the 
waters of the Yellow river — one of the most ungovernable streams 
of the earth — by confining it between dykes several hundred 
miles in length, to prevent its destructive inundations ; an under- 
taking the maintenance of which, even at the present day, forms 
a heavy tax on the whole empire. Thus, in the infancy of the 
nation, there existed the germs that were necessary to its wonder- 
ful growth. 

Every essential feature of their civilization, moral, social, politi- 
cal, industrial , is the ofispring of their o\vii mind s. More than 
this, from China there have radiated many of the fundamental 
features of Asiatic and even of European civilization. The mari- 
ner's compass, printing, and gunpowder, were early inventions 
of that country, and there is little doubt that they were directly 
or indirectly introduced into the West during the reign of the 
Mongol dynasty, when so man y Europeans wandered freely 
through all Asia. It has been claimed that the first printed copy 
of the Bible was made in Chin a. The observing traveller in that 
country will see at every step the prototypes of familiar objects 
in common use with us and in Europe. 

It has often been made a reproach to the Chinese, that their 
inventions have remained unperfected. This is certainly a re- 
markable fact, when we consider the fertility of mind necessary 
to have oi-iginated, throughout, such a civilization; but it would 
seem tbat the perfecting of the results of thought and labor is, 
to a certain extent, dependent on their transplantation into other 
countries, and on the reaction upon each other of different kinds 
of civilizations. China has ever been too isolated to enjoy the 
benefits of this interchange, although there is reason to hope that I 
such an era is now dawning . It must also be remembered that 
China has ever been a world within itself ; sufiicient to itself 

25 S ■ A0B0S8 AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. xix. 

Having no competitors, t heir inventions stopped at the poin t 
where the desire d end was att ainedj they were intended to be 
labor-aiding rather than labor-saving. It would seem that with 
this isolation, the very fact that the Chinese civilization is in- 
digenous would go far toward explaining the persistency of its 

The principles upon which the whole social and political fabric 
of the empire is based had already been established, and had 
taken a firm root in the national mind in early historical times ; 
and so firmly were they fixed that every attempt to overthrow 
them has ended in the extinction of the aggressive dynasties. 
These principles are, p a ternal and j ilial duty, and individual 
responsibility for the pu blic welfare. As^thelCmperor is the son 

~Gf Heaven and the father~of tEe people, he is responsible to 
heaven for the well-being of the nation ; a portion only of his 

, power is delegated to the officers of the government. So also, 
in the family, the parent is supreme, but also responsible for the 
conduct of the children. The entire population of a city is re- 
sponsible for the citizens ; each ward,- for its families ; each family, 
for its members. No crime is greater than the violation of filial 
duty in the family relation, and all crimes acting against the pub- 
lic good are brought to the doors of the public sponsors. 

But the Chinese, always too material and practical a people to 
vest the control of the imperial will in heaven alone, established, so 
far as we know, first among mankind, the principle that the will 
of the people and the will of heaven are synonymou s. In the 
Shu-King, compiled by Confucius, 600 B.C., from authorities 
much more ancient, we find the following axiom : " That which 
heaven sees and hears manifests itself in that which the people 
-see and hear." " That which the people judge worthy of reward 
and of punishment indicates what heaven desires to reward and 
to punish." Again it is said in the Chung-King : " The wise 
emperors of ancient times used the eyes and ears of the empire 
to see and hear, for the wishes of the people were their wishes, 
since it is in the wishes of the people that the intentions of heaven 

: are manifested." Believing thus firmly that "the voice of the 
people is the voice of God," a council of the wisest men of the 
empire, themselves raised from the people, has ever surrounded 
the throne, holding the position of censors, memorializing the Em- 


peror on the state of the country, and generally not hesitating to 
risk their lives in criticising a wrong policy. 

As the people are the children of the Emperor, they are all 
equal, as members of one famil y. There is no distinction of 
class. The descendants of Confucius have, indeed, by that title, 
certain privileges of nobility, and the members of the Imperial 
family form, during the existence of a dynasty, a class of nobles ; 
but they enjoy only a few slight prerogatives, which end with the 
ninth remove. Whenever a citizen has rendered some signal 
service to the state, advancing the public good, he is ennobled, 
receiving certain titles and privileges, but -these cease at his 
death, his descendants having no further share in them than the 
honor of being his offspring. As no man can be greater than his 
father, the whole line of ancestors is ennobled. Thus, an aristoc- 
racy is foi-med, indeed, but it is wisely perpetuated backwar d into 
the other world. 

All being equal, competition for office is open for all. Educa- 
tion is universal, and proficiency in scholarship forms the basis of 
this competition. The government, it is true, appoints most of 
the officials, but they are chosen from those who, in the succes- 
sive competitive examinations, take the highest honors. 

That these principles have not merely been acknowledged, but 
that they have been the true mainspring, acting weakly at times 
it is true, the Chinese nation at this day is a standing proof. 
Among them alone, of all peoples, has the jjrinciple that forms 
the basis of our own government, the equality of man^ existed 
through all history . -=— . _ 

The early philosophers of China taught these doctrines, as a 
moral and political code, and as the only just basis of govern- 
ment. At that time the country was split up into numerous 
feudal kingdoms; but when, some time after the death of Confu- 
cius, the empire was consolidated, the doctrines of the great teacher 
became gradually the rule of action, and until the present time 
they have never lost ground in their hold upon the national 
mind. As a code of morals, it is not venturing too far to say 
that the writings of Confucius have been and still are as much 
respected as is the creed of any other people. 

The universal esteem in which scholarship has ever been held 
has made education one of the chief aims of life to a greater de- 

260 A0B088 AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. xk. 

gree in China than in most other nations. An aristocracy of in 
tellect assumes here the position which in other countries is 
assigned to birth or wealth; schools are universal, and the pro- 
portion of the inhabitants who are unable to read and write is 
verysmalL The classics and history of their own country are 
very generally studied. That their ability to learn is not con- 
fined to the groove of their own system of study is shown by the 
instances of Chinese educated in the West. About twenty years 
ago two boys, children of very jioor families, were sent to 
America to be instructed. After leaving the school at Munson, 
one went through Yale, and in graduating took the highest place in 
English composition; the other carried off the highest honors in 
surgery and botany in the University of Edinburgh. Since that 
time the first has carried the experience gained in the West into 
the conduct of his business in China, and the other is esteemed by 
the European residents of the English colony of Hong-Kong as 
one of the best surgeons in the East. The science of war is consid- 
ered inferior to scholarship, and the ■ Chinese are essentially a 
peaceable people, although they have carried on great wars dur- 
ing different periods of their history. 

The power of the central government is felt but lightly through- ' 
out the empire. There is a practical decentralization which leaves 
a wide scope for free action to the provinces and their subdivisions ; 
this is_ex£mp1ifie d ^n the japplication of the revenues, excepting 
nigritane^ustoms, to the use of the 'disfricts in ' w h ich they are 
raised. The governmentof China is really one type of democracy, 
as that of Japan is of despotism. In China the people are represent- 
ed in the government, in that, though all the principal offices are 
filled by the Emperor, they are filled from the people by compe- 
titive examination. This is the theory ; practically many offices 
ai-e sold to raise money, as during the wars with England and 
the rebellion. The central government is felt chiefly when its 
appointees are corrupt ; but the power of the people is generally 
great enough to cause removals in such cases. Their faculty of 
organization and self-govern ment showed itself repeatedly during" 
the late r ebemon. 'I'he British consul at Ning-Hn pniH them a.- 
high tribute in this respect, in praising the perfect order and self- 
rgovernment which was shown for a long time at that place, 
-when its population, greatly increased by the crowds fleeing 


from the rebels, was abandoned by its officials and left to take care 
of itself. 

Having no fear of the future world, they meet death with great 
c ourage, dreading it less than continue T~pai n. The family ties 
are very close, and family honor is the strongest check on their 
actions. Their sense of commer ci al honor is deep, and my own 
e xperience, in central and northern Chin a, leads me t o think 
that honestY is quite as general there as in other countrie s. The 
existence of hospitals, founded by private charity, for the sick 
and for foundlings, and for other pui'poses, proves that the Chi- 
nese are not negligent of social responsibilities. They are prover- 
bially industrious ; and could we measure the amount of produc- 
tive manual labor performed throughout the world, without the 
aid of modern labor-saving machinery, we should probably find 
that this third of the human race accomplishes not less than from 
six-tenths to seven-tenths of the whole. " 

It is no slight tribute to say that during nearly 5,000 miles of 
travel, in this closely peopled land, the writer never saw a drunken 

The Chinese have been charged with being, as a people, cor- 
rupt beyond measure, given over to every abomination, and prac- 
tising infanticide to the extent of destroying one-quarter of the 
female children; but it is the opinion of Doctor Lockhart, an 
eminent medic a l mi ssionary, who has studied the question many 
years in different parts of the empire, that the latter crime is (in 
proportion to the population) no more frequent, or perhaps les s 
common, than it is in its various forms in Engl and and America ; 
and it should seem that the healthy and moral condition of soci- 
ety is proved by the vitality of the nation, the overflowing popula- 
tion, and the rapidity with which gigantic wounds in the national 
body are healed. Of course the aggregate of crime must be very 
large, especially in the great cities ; but it is doubtful whether it 
is greater, in proportion to the population, than among the na- 
tions of the West. 

With all the admiration a careful observer must have for 
China, it is certainly not a pleasant country for a foreigner to 
live in, unless he recognize and keep always3efore him the fact 
that oi-ganic matter, in decaying and giving nutriment to plants, 
loses every vestige of its former character. There is too much 

262 ACROSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap, xis 

of the human element;, go where you will, look where you will, 
it is there. In the more closely peopled parts the traveller is 
surrounded hy a turbid stream of life, while he treads a soil, 
almost human, the ashes of the unnumbered millions of the past ; 
the very dust which he breathes and swallows is that of a charnel 
house. The water of wells is everywhere impregnated mth the 
products of organic decay; and the rivers are the sewers of count- 
less cities. 

On the densely-peopled plain all the organic and much of the 
mineral ingredients of the soil must have made many times the 
circuit of plant and animal life ; in .other words, everything that 
goes to make and maintain the human body has formed part of 
human bodies which have passed away. 

Few foreigners have the courage to enter the larger southern 
towns in summer, so horrible is the air. In the neighborhood of 
great cities on the delta ]>lain, where water is found just below 
the surface, one may ride for miles always in sight of coflEins 
bursting in the scorching heat of the sun, and breeding the pesti- 
lence that yearly sweeps off the surplus population. 

What I have attempted to make conspicuous, is the fact that 
the spirit of the Chinese, as shown in their enterprise and energy 
as colonizers, in their commercial character and faculty of organ- 
ization, iythe democratic idea of the political eqtiality of man, in 
the practicaL-dflfientralization sOIieic-gQygrniafiiit, and in the 
universality of education and the making of education a neces- 
sary qualification for office, is in hai-mony with the spii-it of the 
present ag e. This is the strong armor of the race , its saf eguard 
in the future struggle for existence, by which it is clearly distin- 
guished from those inferior races whose social and political sy s- 
tems belong to j^eriods long past, and differ so much from our 
own that they fal l at the first contact with us. 

We have seen that there exists in China a boundless source of 
emigration, and the necessity for emigration ; that the capacity 
of America for receiving this emigration is comparatively unlim- 
ited ; that the emigration will be at least proportionate to the 
encouragement offered ; that the encouragement is springing into 
existence through the recognition of the Chinese as a necessary 
element for the development of the resources of. the Far West ; 
that the immense influx of these people will constitute a possible 


political power which cannot remain latent, and that the attain- 
ment of the privileges of citizenship will make of them a fixed 
instead of a floating population, which, so far as anything we 
know to the contrary, may at no distant date largely outnumber 
the European element. The first question which naturally rises, 
is, in what can this people c ontntoe to our material prosperity? 
It is not difficult to answer to this that by reason of their many- 
sidedness, their adaptability to all branches of industry, they can 
contribute more than any other foreign element in the first gen- 
eration. They can supply labor for the house and field, for 
building railroads, for working in mines and factories, for every 
need on sea and land. Within the really impassable limits set 
by nature, they alone can render productive vast tracts of land, 
the cultivation of which is essential to the prosperity of our 
mountain territories. They can contrib ute largel y to our wealth 
and that of the world by their saving_ofmaterial, and by forcing 
us, through co mpetition, to becom e more economical in this re- 
spect. They can advance greatly our material prosperity, not 
only by the product of their labor in working for Americans, but 
by their independent enterprise as capitalists. Indeed, the low-( 
ering of the price of labor in America, through Chinese immigra- 
tion, taken in connection with the almost certain rise in price in 
Europe, appears to offer the best solution of the vexed question 
of free trade, by placing us on an equal or superior footing with 
Europe in the manufacture of those things which now require 
protection. It should seem that Chinese emigration, organized 
on the most liberal plan, in conformity with the emigration laws 
of China, and under the responsible guidance of Chinese contrac- 
tors, would rapidly raise our Southern States to a height of pros- 
perity never yet reached by them, and render possible the com- 
pletion and maintenance of great works, necessary to control the 
overflow of the Mississippi, and to drain unproductive and mala- 
rious regions. 

Will the price at which these benefits shall be gained be too 
high ? Every one will answer this according to his own way of 
measuring the future by the past. But he who sees in events ' 
the resultants of social and physical forces, the operation of great 
laws, progressive in their action and tending toward that millen- 
nium when every part of the earth, according to its natural en- 

264 ACROSS AMERICA AJfD ASIA. [chap. xix. 

dowment, shall justify its existence, by contributing its full share, 
as a part, to the welfare of the whole ; toward the unification of 
mankind by the assimilation of the best parts of its different races 
into a new type — who believes that 

Throngh the ages one increasing purpose rnne , 

will feel the least anxiety in contemplating the future. To the 
charge that they will largely outnumber the Americans, absorb- 
ing many branches of industry and competing in all, he will 
answer that they can do so only by being able to compete wit h 
the Eur opean element ; in oth er words, by being really equally 
e fficie nt, and thu s iu|tifying_their_i-i^ht to citizenship. To the 
assertion that their use of opium threatens the addition of another 
national vice to those we have ■ already, he will reply that the 
rapid spread of the use of this drug, a use of only some sixty 
years' standing in China, was induced by natural causes, acting 
in a country which had reached an abnormal condition, and that 
it can exist as a national habit only where it is a natural neces- 
sity. The long-continued generations of temperance of this people 
show their normal condition, and we have little reason to fear 
that half a century of opium smoking can destroy the deep-seated, 
inherited vitality of the race, or have fixed it as a constitutional 
vice upon those who will emigrate hither. 

The political aspect of the question is that of the most imme- 
diate importance, for many obvious reasons. Nothing is more 
certain than the impossibility of a foreign race continuing to live 
and increase, in America, in other than two conditions, viz., either 
under the animal-breeding system of slavery, or (and probably 
only) by being equally strong with the European element, in the 
average of all things which constitute strength in this age. The 
ability of any people to prosper, multiply, and co-exist among us, 
proves them to possess an average equality with us when mea- 
sured by our standard, deficiencies in some points being compen- 
sated in others — these differences being desirable in the same de- 
gree that individuality is desirable. If an inferior race, or large 
bodies of vicious and criminal people, prosper and multiply, it 
does not invalidate this rule, but rather shows that our actual 
measure, on certain points, is far below our theoretical standard. 
K the Chinese, having the exercise of equal rights in a fair field, 
should prove themselves undesirable citizens, it would be proof 


of inferiority, of inability to contribute their full share to tba 
general good ; and the inability to compete with their neighbors 
would inevitably result in their disappearance from the arena as 
important rivals. 

In view of all the possibilities of the case before us, it becomes 
evident now, more than ever before, how important it is that we 
should turn our energies toward Americanizing the foreign ele- 
ments of our population. A large Chinese emigrationis the 
strjfflgest argument against immediate and unqualified, suffi -age. 
With the prospect of an unparalleled influx of Chinese, it is of 
immediate importance that we insist upon their unj^erstaTiding 
our social and political organization before giving them a voice, 
and this can be done only by insisting up on a residence of seve -< 
ral years in the country, and by an educat ional test, which shoul d^ 
noE be less than the ability to read an d speak the English la nj 
guage. Indeed, this is only an additional illustration of the neces- 
sity for an educational qualification, in the matter of citizenship 
in general, and it should seem sulEciently clear to convince even 
the most confirmed advocates of unqualified suflTrage. 

The danger most to be guarded against, is the enactment or 
continuance o f special legislation w ith regard to Mongolians. 
Everything which tends to exclude themfrom the rest of the 
community, and, in a greater degree, everything which denies to 
them — as do practically the laws of California — the common 
rights of humanity , not only affects seriously the character of the 
aliens and retards the growth of the region in question, but re- 
acts most injuriously on the European element, producing those 
mor al evils wh ich were the worst results of slav er y with us — a 
re-action which is the curse following everywhere intercourse be- 
tween the European and non-European races. To suppose that a 
whole state or nation is able to rise above all prejudice of race, 
to look upon such a question from a cosmopolitan standpoint, is 
almost the same as supposing the average intellectual level of the 
people to be on an equality with that of its most liberal, minds ; 
but it should not be demanding too much to expect to find this 
' quality in the lawgivers of a land which claims that " all men 
are created equal ; " especially should we look for it in the consid- 
eration of a question which pre-supposes an infiux of Chinese by 


pekhtg and its neighboehood. 

Aftee a sojourn of half a month in Shanghai under the hospi- 
table roof of Mr. Edward Cunningham, I embarked on a steamer 
for Tien-tsin, the port of Peking and in due time sighted the 
low coast of the gulf of Pechele and the mouth of the Pei-ho. 
As we entered this river we passed the mud flat which was the 
scene of the terrible slaughter of English troops that led to the 
war of 1860. The entrance to the river is guarded by two large 
forts, the walls of which are almost washed by the high tides, 
while at low water a broad mud flat is exposed for some distance 
from the shore. The English plenipotentiary arriving at the 
mouth of the river with the intention of ascending the stream 
to Tien-tsin and Peking for the purpose of ratifying the ti'eaty 
of the previous year, found the entrance eflectually barred by 
stakes. The attempt to pass these being met with resistance 
from the shore, a force of several hundred men was landed upon 
the flat at low-water to storm the fort ; but before they could 
reach the walls these unfortunate men became helplessly entan- 
gled in the mud directly under the enemy's guns. Between this 

fire and the rising tide nearly the whole force perished" in sight 
of the vessels, which were unable to give them ass istance. 

The Pei-ho is a narrow and winding stream, deep enough to 
admit, as far as Tien-tsin, any craft which can cross the bar at 
the mouth ; vessels drawing more than eight feet can pass the 
straight reaches only at high water.* 

— L^JS?'^®'^* ti mes within Chinese history this channel belo w 
Tiej^in has been the lower course of the turbulent and wan-, 
dering Yil low river] " ' 

Tien-tsin (Heaven's Ford) is a city of about 400,000 inhabit- 
ants. Lying at the junction of the imperial canal with the Pei- 
ho, it was, until the destructio n of the former, a place of impor- 

* Williams' " CMnese Commercial Guide." 


tance in the internal trade. The chief exports are pulse, fruit, 
deers' horns, furs, -wools, wax, flint-steels, and rhubarb. Toward 
the end of the American war some cotton was also shipped from 
this port. 

The most comfortable route to the capital is by boat, but as 
this involved a four days' journey, and the land route less than 
three, I joined M. Gamier, a French gentleman, who was going 
by the road. Our baggage went in two-wheeled carts drawn by 
mules, while we were mounted on strong Tartar ponies. The 
journey was not a very interesting one, as the road lay over the 
broad plain of Chih-li. It was already the beginning of Septem- 
ber. The crops were just ready to be cut, and our way was 
hemmed in on either side by broad, cultivated fields, gilded by 
the drooping ears of millet, or reddened by the ripening kao- 
liang, a -variety of sorghum which grows to the height of ten oi 
twelve feet. While millet here takes the place of rice as food for 
the people, the grain of the kao-liang replaces rice, as a source 
from which the alcoholic drink of the Chinese is distilled, and is 
also used largely for fodder. Many fields were planted with buck- 
wheat, and others with cotton. 

Although we passed many large farm-houses, well built of bric k 
and roofed with glazed tiles, and surrounded with large enclo- 
sures, the greater part of the villages and isolated houses bore the 
marks of poverty, being built of mud, and thatched with reeds 
and straw. 

Where the crops had been removed, the surface was a sandy 
plain, dried by the summer's sun, and sending up clouds of dust 
with every gust of wind. The soil is impregnated with alkalin e 
salts, which effloresce on the surface , and render the fine sand 
extremely irritating to the eyes. On this great plain, sand storms 
often rage with all the fierceness and destructive consequences 
which one is accustomed to look for only on deserts. Only a year 
or two before my visit to northern China, one of these storms had 
prevailed for several days, and with so much intensity that the 
air was darkened, boats were unable to move on the river, and 
many people died from losing their way even in this thickly peo- 
pled region. In Tien-tsin it fell many inches deep in the courts 
of houses, and fine particles were even filtered through the paper 
of windows. 

268 ACBOSS AMEBIOA AND ASIA. [chap. xx. 

A lofty pagoda, towering high over village and plain, showed ua 
that we were nearing Tung-chau (fu), twelve miles from Peking. 
The Pei-ho here receives a canal, which connects its waters and 
those of the grand canal with the capital of the empire. 

Here we came upon one of the granite causeways, or highways, 
which radiate from the capital. The road is perhaps eighteen 
feet wide, and is constructed of granite blocks about six feet long 
by two feet wide and one foot thick. This massive covering was 
laid upon a thick and perfectly graded bed of concrete and cement. 
These roads were constructed for durability, and exhibit a great 
degree of skill ; for, although they have probably never been re- 
paired, the stones have undergone no movement from their orig- 
inal position. But a defect in construction, combined with the 
wear of long use, has made them now almost worthless. 
The slabs were laid with the longest axis across the road, and in 
such a manner that the end joints formed by each two slabs fell 
half-way between the end joints of the neighboring stones. These 
end joints being the weakest points, have, through long exposure 
to the tires of cart wheels, been worn into deep ruts as long as 
the slabs are broad. It was driving over this very causeway in 
a Chinese carriage that hastened the death of one of the gentle- 
men who accompanied Mr. Ward in the embassy to Peking. Had 
these roads been built of slabs sufficiently long to leave the end 
joints always in the middle of the highway, they would certainly 
have been masterpieces of the art of road-making. 

Suburban villages with innumerable hostelries concealed the 
walls of the city until we were almost under them. 

A large gateway, surmounted by an imposing tower and pro- 
tected by a semi'-circular curtain wall, which in its turn is pierced 
by three portals, stood before us. Through this we were allowed 
to pass, after a close examination of our passports by the officer 
of the guard, and we rode into Khan-balu, the city of the 

It is no easy undertaking for a stranger to find his way to any 
given point through a city so subdivided as is Peking by inner 
walls. It was to this very difficulty that a foreign minister owed 
a diplomatic success. The Danish Government, wishing to make 
a treaty with the Chinese, had sent Count Easseloif as plenipoten- 
tiary. But the Government, not wishing to enter into any new 


treaties, declined to receive the minister. This gentleman, how- 
ever, having reached Tien-tsin, determined to push on to the 
capital, where arriving some time before his retinue, he entered 
the gate alone, and not speaking the language, soon lost his way. 
After wandering about for a long time, and trying in vain by 
gestures to learn from the astonished natives the whereabouts of 
the foreign legations, he rode up to a well-dressed Chinaman who 
was just leaving a house. After several ineifectual attempts to 
establish an understanding, the Chinaman good-humoredly got 
out of his carriage, and led the foreigner into a room where he 
found several other Chinese gentlemen. An interpreter was 
soon found, and refreshments were brought in. After a good 
deal of sociable conversation the embassador found that his guide 
was one of the high officers of the empire, and that he was then 
present at a meeting of the Board for Foreign Aflfairs— the au- 
thorities who had declined making a treaty — and at the same 
time the officials discovered that they were entertaining the very 
man whose entrance into the city they had endeavored to pre- 
vent. The accident led to a hearty laugh all round, and to a 
good understanding, which resulted in the speedy consummation 
of a treaty. 

After quartering ourselves in a Chinese inn, I made my way 
to the American legation, where I met with a kind reception from 
our minister, and received, both from him and from Mrs. Burlin- 
game, a cordial invitation to make ray home at their house during 
my visit. It is from this time on that I date my real travels in 
China, at least so far as travelling means a study of the people. 
During this visit, which was prolonged many months beyond my 
original intention, I learned to free myself from the prejudices 
which every traveller is apt to contract upon the China coast, and 
during my subsequent travels to look upon the people, with 
whom I was thrown much in contact, from an entirely different 
stand-point. For the ability to do this I have to acknowledge my 
deep indebtedness to Mr. Burlingame, and to the late Sir Frederick 
Bruce. The broad-minded policy of these two men, based upon 
justness, and freed from prejudice of race, has begun a new era in 
the history of Eastern diplomacy. 

Peking was fo,unded by Kublai-Khan, about A.D. 1282, as the 
seat of his court. It is said to have been built near the site of 

270 ACROSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. xx. 

an important town which dated from the Chow dynasty (1122 to 
256 B.C). The enclosure is about twenty miles in circumfer- 
ence, and is divided into two parts, the Chinese and Manchu cities. 
The walls of the latter, which are the larger and wider, are forty 
to fifty feet high, and about forty feet wide at the top. Tapering 
slightly from the base upward, they are built witk an extremely 
solid core of earth, faced with massive brick masonry, resting on 
a solid foundation of stone upon concrete. The top is paved with 
tiles and defended by a crenulated parapet. The outer side is 
protected by bastions some fifty feet square, and built at intervals 
of a few hundred feet. Of the sixteen gates which pierce the 
walls, seven belong to the Chinese town, six to the Tartar, and 
three to the partition wall between the two cities. Each gate- 
way is surmounted by an imposing tower several stories high, and 
rising, apparently more than a hundred feet from the ground. 
Within the Tartar city, and occupying the heart of it, there is a 
walled enclosure called the imperial city, and within this again, 
the forbidden city , containing the imperial palaces and pleasure 

Unlike most other Chinese towns, Peking is traversed by 
broad aven ues, crossing the city in both directions, in straight 
lines. A stream, entering near the northwest corner of the 
Tartar city, is divided into two branches, which, entering the 
imperial city, surround the forbidden enclosure with canals and 
lakes ; and then, re-uniting, the waters pass through the southern 
part of the Tartar city and the Chinese town into the Tung-chau 

Upon the west bank of this stream, in the southern part of the 
Tartar, city, are the American, English, and Russian legations. 

As the top of the wall forms the principal promenade for the 
few foreign residents, let us make our first excursion thither, in 
order to get a general view over the city. Passing out of the 
gateway of the American legation, we come upon the esplanade 
bordering the nearly dry bed of what was once a beautiful canal, 
but its marble facing is now dilapidated and scattered in large 
white blocks over the mud. Beyond the street, on the other side, 
a high wall encloses the large pleasure-grounds and shady groves 
of a prince of the imperial blood. We may often see ladies of 
His Highness' harem peeping shyly over the broken parapet. 


It would be interesting to know whether these life-long prisoners 
feel more of contempt or of envy for the lot of foreign ladies, 
when they see them walking in public, on the arms of gentlemen, 
or riding on hoTseback, with all the freedom which they are 
taught belongs only to men. But we shall not get near enough 
to this coy bevy to learn their feelings from their looks, for they 
have already shocked their own ideas of propriety by allowing 
themselves to be seen, and their fresh faces have suddenly dis- 
appeared. It is not often that a foreigrfer of the male sex gets a 
near sight of the ladies of this class, other than when they pass 
in carriages. Still, there was one instance in which a dashing 
young foreigner played the part of Don Juan in one of these 
harems, though without meeting the fate of Byron's hero. But 
to return to our walk. Crossing over a white marble bridge, 
and following the dirty street which borders the canal, we leave 
the water-course where it passes, by a low archway, through the 
wall of the city. Giving a small fee to a watchman, we are ad- 
mitted to a long, inclined plane, and ascending this we reach the 
top of the wall. We are now upon the partition between the 
two cities. Looking north over the Tartar town, we see little 
more than a broad forest, above which rise on every side the 
lofty towers of the gates, and the high roofs of the palaces and 
temples. Excepting the houses just beneath us, the private 
dwellings are hidden in the dense foliage. Strolling westward 
over the beautiful promenade, now almost green with the grass 
springing up between the tiles, we find ourselves in the shadow 
of the great tower over the middle gate. 

Beneath us lies the Meridian Avenue, which, running due 
south through the middle of both cities, connects the imperial 
precincts with the temples of Heaven and of Agriculture. Imme- 
diately below us a busy throng of Chinamen is pouring in and 
out of the gate, with all the motley variety of an oriental popu- 
lation. A large square, paved, and surrounded with an open mar- 
ble fence, is bordered on the north by the red wall and lofty ver- 
milion gateway through which the Meridian Avenue enters the 
imperial city. Colossal lions of white marble guard the entrance 
to this sombre gate. Beyond this a succession of high buildings 
rise, one behind the other, on the line of the avenue, the yellow 
tiles of the roofs shining like gold in the sunlight, and contrast- 

272 AGBOSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. xx. 

ing well with the dark .green of the foliage out of which they 
spring. Several miles to the north, and conspicuous above the 
intervening palaces, we see the " golden mountain," a beautiful 
hill, having several summits, each crowned with a picturesque 
pavilion. This feature in the scenery is said to be artificial, and 
to contain a vast store of stone coal. History records that the 
last emperor of the Mings, finding his cause hopeless, and the 
capital falling into the hands of the rebel Li-tsz-ching, retired to 
this mountain, and there ended his dynasty by stabbing his 
daughter and hanging himself. 

Further on, in the northern part of the city, a massive building 
stands high above the trees. This is the great watch-tower, in 
one of the upper stories of which is kept the giant drum of 
Peking. On our left, near the western wall of the Tartar city, 
there stands a massive monument, an Indian tope of white mar- 
ble ; while further west, in the suburbs, stands one of the loftiest 
and most beautiful pagodas in China. 

Away to the west, over some ten or twelve miles of intervening 
country, arise the high and barren mountains which form the 
western limit of the great delta plain, and the transition frQm 
the lowlands of the coast to the elevated plateau of central Asia. 

Turning our faces southward, we see the Meridian Avenue 
emerging from the gateway beneath us, and in its southerly 
coarse dividing the Chinese town into two equal parts. For the 
distance of a mile or so this broad street is bordered on either 
side by the principal shops and market-places of the city. Be- 
yond these, entering a large open space, it passes between two 
great enclosures, one containing the temple of Agriculture, the 
other the altai' to Heaven. Conspicuous above the treesj and over 
-all the city, rises the triple roof of the temple of Heaven. This 
beautiful structure is very impressive, not less from the unique- 
ness of its form, than from the fact that it is the centre of the 
state worship of an empire including a third of the human race ; 
a worship which, though now dead to the hearts of the people, 
and of the sovereign, dates from the gray time of antiquity, 
and has ever been the channel through which the monarch has 
tendered to Heaven, of which he is the Son, the expression of 
that obedience which he exacts from the people who are his chil- 


The circular tent-like roofs of this temple are covered with glazed 
ciles of the deepest azure, and surmounted with a golden ball. 
The rays of the afternoon sun, falling on this brilliant surface, 
produce a rich purple sheen, a beautiful play of light, the sight of 
which was in itself sufficient inducement for the daily walk upon 
the wall. 

But the sun is just going down behind the ragged peaks of the 
west, the wall is darkened for half a mile by the lengthening shad- 
ow of the tower above us, and the flood of golden light is leaving 
the yellow roofs of the imperial palaces. 

The life of a foreigner in Peking isrelieved of much of its monot- 
ony by the many objects of interest situated within a day's jour- 
ney on horseback. The Chinese use horses but little, preferring 
saddle mules, o f which they have the finest in the wor ld, or the 
two wheeled vehicles of the country drawn by the same animals. 
To most foreigners these carts without springs are almost useless, 
as it requires a life-long experience to be able to balance one's 
body, even in travelling through the streets of the city, without 
being bruised to soreness by the jolting. At many of the princi- 
ple points in Peking there are regular stands, where a number of 
these carriages may be found waiting, but they are rarely used 
by the foreign residents, whose stables contain fine horses from 

We, too, will make our excursions in the saddle. Following 
the canal for a short distance, and turning the corner at the Rus- 
sian legation, we enter a broad street, leading to the Meridian 
Avenue. As we approach the Meridian Gate the bustle of street- 
life surrounds us on every side. The broad paved square is filled 
with the hurrying crowd. Private carriages, or common hacks, 
clatter over the granite flags ; hundreds of itinerant peddlars, 
cooks, and tinkers trot in and out through the gate, their burdens 
hanging upon their shoulders at either end of an elastic pole ; 
well-dressed and thrifty shop-keepers saunter along the side- 
walk, fanning their contented faces; scores of beggars, the 
worst outgrowth of Chinese city life, horrible wretches, clothed 
with the dirtiest of dirt, or at best with fragments of cast-ofl" mats, 
besiege relentlessly every passer-by. As we approach the gates 
a party of horsemen pass us, dressed in yellow robes and mount- 
ed on Tartar ponies : they are princes of the imperial blood. A 


long train of camels, carrying coal, is passing through the gate. 
Stepping with caution on the smooth stones, the long line of 
giant animals move slowly along, chewing lazily the cud, and sway- 
ing their long necks and horizontal heads first to one side and then 
to the other, and fixing their beautiful eyes upon every object 
they pass. But here is another group of animals, not less use- 
ful in their habits than they are disgusting in appearance : a dozen 
or more of the most mangy dogs, and worse looking pigs, are 
fighting over a heap of offal. These are the scavengers of China. 

A lai-ge bazaar borders this square ; in it are shops and stands, 
containing all kinds of manufactured articles, among them many 
of foreign make. 

The gateway is a high and arched tunnel, from sixty to a hun- 
dred feet long, in which swirig'inassive folding doors, which, 
amid much sounding of gdrigs, are closed at dark, and opened at 
daybreak. Leaving this portal we eriter a large semi-circular 
space, surrounded by the cui-tain-wall which defends this entrance 
toward the Tartar-city. Of the three gates leading out of this 
space, two are open to the public,'while the middle one is unlocked 
only for the Emperor. 

The Meridian Avenue in the Chinese city is paved with granite 
blocks, which have becoine smooth and rounded' and filled with 
ruts through the long wear of cart wheels. On either side are 
the shops and booths which form the chief market-place of 
Peking. jDuring the winter months- this city has no rival in the 
world in the abundance arid variety of the game and domestic 
meat with which its market is stocked. Being near Mongolia it 
receives large quantities of gOod beef, and of the broad-tailed and 
common sheep. During the winter, long camel trains are con- 
stantly arriving, loaded with antelopes, two or three kinds of deer, 
wild boars, and wild ducks. Bears, sturgeon, and blue fish are 
brought in from Manchuria, while the surrounding country fur- 
nishes an abundance of pheasants, partridges, and snipe. As the 
thermometer stands low during the whole winter, these things can 
be easily preserved for months. The variety of vegetables and 
fruits is also very respectable, and foreigners have no cause to 
complain either of the character or cost of food in this part of 

A ride of a mile or more brings us to a marble bridge, over 


which the Meridian Avenue crosses a creek to enter the open plain 
between the temples of Heaven and of Agriculture. Here leav- 
ing the avenue, we can canter over the turf to a gateway in the 
enclosure sacred to Heaven. Strictly speaking, no one is allowed 
to enter these precincts ; but foreigners having done so immedi- 
ately after the surrender of Peking, established a precedent, which, 
with the aid of a small fee, continues to them the privilege. The 


outer wall is some thi-ee or lour miles m circumference. Within this 
a broad belt of groves and lawns, with shaded avenues, surrounds 
an inner wall. At the gate of this inner enclosure we leave our 
horses and proceed on foot. On either side, the avenue is bordered 
by a park, with clusters of fine trees scattered over broad lawns. 
And now the great temple rises before us. There high above 
the trees is the azure triple roof, brilliant, as a sapphire in the sun- 
light. The structure stands upon three terraced stages, each one 
ten feet high, respectively one hundred and twenty, ninety, and 



[chap. XX. 

sixty feet in diameter.* The form of these terraces is polygonal, 
and each one is surrounded by a balustrade; on them stand 
many large and beautiful bronze vases for burning incense. The 
whole is built of pure white marble, highly sculptured, and covered 
with bas-reUefs, representing the dragons and other animals of 
the early Chinese mythology. From each of the four points of 





the compass the terraces are ascended by broad inclined planes, 
constructed with massive and sculptured slabs of marble. Upon 
this really grand sub-structure stands the temple, a large circular 
building, painted vermilion and pierced with lofty windows. 
These openings are curtained with rolling screens, made of rods 

♦ Article " Pekin," New American Encyclopedia. 



of blue glass, which shut out all view of the interior. Over the 
main entrance is a tablet inscribed with the name of Shangte, the 
Most High Rnlea. 

A broad causeway leading southward, and passing through an 
arched gateway in a high red building, and under several elabo 
rate arches, connects the temple with the altar to Heaven. This, 
like the terraced substructure of the temple, is built of white 


marble, and has also three terraced stages, the upper one of 
which, judging from memory, is more than a hundred feet in 
diameter. It is covered with richly-sculptured figures of mythi- 
cal animals, while the terraces are decorated with large incense 
vases of bronze, whose dark color and graceful outlines stand in 
beautiful relief against the white marble background. In the 
middle of the top platform thre^e altars or small tripod tables 
are ranged in a line from east to west, while on one side a large 

278 ACROSS AMEBIOA AND ASIA. \cb.a.v. xx 

iron basket seems intended for use in offering burnt sacrifices. 
On the south side stands a sacred gateway, also of white marble. 

There can be but one temple of Heaven, and the Emperor, 
the High Priest — Son of Heaven — alone has the right to worship 

I never entered this spot without being impressed with a feel- 
ing akin to awe, or rather with the sentiment which ever attaches 
to the contemplation of those things which bear the stamp of 
great antiquity, and are hidden behind the veil of mystery. 
Under no other temple than the broad universe, this imposing 
altar — imposing in its simplicity — the only symbol of a religion 
which, unchanged by later corruptioW, dates back far beyond 
the dawii of any history — ^is erected to a deity, or perhaps it 
were more' proper to say, to an ictsa. which Fas never Eeen per - 
sonified in the Chinese mind, and still less repi-esented to the 

The worship of Shangte (Tien), the controlling power of the 
universe, was associated, in the earliest times enlightened by 
history, with the worship of the spirits of the hills and rivers. 
This belief in a governing powg- in Heaven, whether it exists 
now or 21 discarded, pervaded the early writings of ^hina i* It 
is recorded that music was invented "for the praise of Shangte. 
Rival claimants to the throne appealed to Shangte. He is the 
arbiter of nations. He is both benevolent and capable of being 
moved to wrath. In the "Book of Odes," composed mostly 
from 800-1000 B.C., and in part much earlier, Shangte is spoken 
of as seated on a lofty throne, while the spirits of the good 
" walk up and down on his right and left." Shangte is said to 
have « no voice or odor "—to be le—i. e., a principle of nature. 
Dr. Martin observes that there is less anthropomorphism in the 
representations of Shangte than in those of Jehovah in the 
Hebrew Scriptures. The source of this worship is probably the 
same as that of the worship of Ancestors, which is so deeply 
rooted that the lapse of ages, national and family vicissitudes, 
and exotic religions have been poweriess to impair its vitality. 
Indeed, so closely is this popular faith bound up with everything 
that is best in the mo rals and customs of the nation and of indi- 

ISraf*"" ^^' ^'*^' " ®*° ^'*" '■ *''« '^^^ Beligione of China." Ne«- Englander, Aprils 


viduals, that it should seem that its aholition must be accompa- 
nied by moral anarchy. 

On the other side of the Meridian Avenue there is the temple 
of Agriculture, surrounded by extensive grounds. Here, in the 
spring, the Emperor performs the ceremony of ploughing the 
ground with a golden plough — a ceremony said to have been 
performed also by the Incas of Peru. id'-Jo. irtf'i-ri / - '■' J S ' 

One of the most fertile sources of amusement to the stranger, 
in Peking, is the walk through the streets in which are collected 
the curiosity stores and lapidary shops. The latter occupy en- 
tkely a long street parallel to the Meridian Avenue in the Chinese 
city. Here I was in the habit of passing hours in examining the 
countless variety of carvings in precious and semi-precious stones. 
The most common articles are snuif-vials, and mouth-pieces for 
pipes, carved chiefly out of green and white jade and fei-tsui, a 
stone precious among the Chinese, and recently named jadeite by 
a French chemist. The ingenuity and patience which the work- 
men exhibit are truly wonderful. The snuff-bottles are generally 
oval and about two inches long, by an inch and a half wide, and 
two-thirds of an inch thick. The mouth is a little over an eightli 
of an inch in diameter, and retains this size to the depth of about 
half an inch. Below this the bottle is hollowed out, leaving to 
the walls everywhere an equal thickness of one eighth to one 
quarter of an inch. The whole is polished inside and out. The 
patience of the workmen will be appreciated when I say that I 
have seen bottles thus executed in the hardest materials, in rock- 
crystal, aqua-marine, topaz, and even in rough sapphire, a stone 
next to the diamond in hardness. 

The show-cases in these shops are filled with ornaments, in 
which all the precious stones known to us are represented, ex- 
cepting only the diamond, emerald, and opal. The emerald is 
well known to the Chinese under the name of lieu-pau-shi (green 
precious stone), but they also call it tsu-ma-lu. The Chinese 
simply polish the natural surface of a precious stone, the art of 
cutting them into symmetrical shapes with facets seems never to 
have been practised by them. 

Among the larger ornamental works in stone, vases in jade- 
stone, jasper, and rock-crystal, are the most prominent. But the 
finer specimens of these large productions are very rare. Choice 

280 AOBOSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. xx. 

pearls, and fine rose coral, are also found in these shops. Nor 
must we forget to mention a kind of jewelry peculiar to the Chi- 
nese, in which the most delicate part of the plumage of the king- 
fisher is so laid upon gold, as to produce the effect of a brilliant 
enamel, even under close examination. 

Not far from this street is that which contains the principal 
curiosity shops. Here the collector wanders bewildered among 
the profusion of treasures. Piles of porcelain vases of every 
shape, and dating mostly from the present, and from the Ming 
dynasty, surround him. Objects in bronze, and beautiful clois- 
sonee vases, the spoils of ruined temples and palaces, 6tageres of 
heavily-carved vermilion lacquer ware, loaded with vases, and 
ornamental carvings in jade, agate, and coral; piles of swords, in 
the ornamentation of which the antiquarian would read many an 
interesting history ; these are some of the treasures which tempt 
even the most economical travellers to extravagance. Nor are 
their prices at all modest ; five hundred to two thousand dollars 
is by no means an uncommon price for porcelain and cloissonee 
vases, in which beauty and moderate age are combined ; it is only 
the productions of the present day that are cheap. 

If we continue our walk a half mile or so through this street, 
we shall find ourselves in the booksellers' quarter, the paradise 
of the Chinese scholar, and of the foreign sinologue. The extent 
Vof Chinese literature is very great, and the number of works 
which are really monumental is large. Among these we may 
mention the dictionary of the Chinese language, in one hundred 
and thirty thick volumes, which was compiled during eight years' 
labor, by seventy-six scholars, with the assistance of literati in 
all parts of the empire, and under the supervision of the Kmperor 
Kang-hi ; * the Statutes of the reigning dynasty in more than one 
thousand volumes, and many other works historical and scientific, 
containing each several hundred volumes. The " General Geog- 
raphy of the Chinese Empire," under the present dynasty, con- 
tains two hundred and sixty volumes, descriptive and statistical, 
with a valuable collection of maps covering the whole empire. In 
compiling tables of the mineral productions of China, I had 
occasion to consult, through a native scholar, a large number of 
authorities, and, in doing this, I found the range of native litera- 

* Williams' " Middle Kingdom," vol. I., p. 540. 


ture on the geography of China, overwhelming. Under different 
dynasties during the past two thousand years, several immense 
general treatises on the subject have been produced. Not only 
this, but almost every province, department, and district, has its 
special and voluminous geography. 

In this street there is a small confectionery shop, which the 
foreigner rarely passes without entering. Here, after running 
the gauntlet of curiosity stores and lapidaries' show-cases, one is 
tempted with candied fruits and jujubes dried in honey, and with 
Siberian crab-apples encrusted with a transparent coating of 



Among the remarkable places in the neighborhood of Peking, 
there is a cave celebrated for its extent, and for the wildness of 
the scenery in which it is situated. It lies in the limestone 
mountains, about two days* ride southwest from Peking. On a fine 
September morning, a party, consisting of Dr. S. W. Williams, 
Rev. Mr. Blodgett, and myself, started on an excursion to this 
interesting place. Leaving the city by one of the southwestern 
gates, and passing the suburbs, we came into the open country 
on a broad, cultivated plain. The tall kao-liang had been har- 
vested, leaving the view open as far as the eye could reach. 
Groups of houses, barns, and villages were everywhere in sight. 
Here and there the eye could detect, in the distance, the gray 
outlines of walled towns, while, rising above all, the most con- 
spicuous and picturesque, were lofty pagodas, the silent and 
ancient guardians of the mysterious currents of air and earth, 
which are supposed to exercise a potent influence upon the well- 
being of the country. Away to the south, two of these towns, 
standing in close proximity, rise above the horizon fi-om the city 
of Tso (chau). 

This portion of China, lying in the region of prevailing west- 
erly winds, which deposit their moisture on the higher parts of 
the continent, is favored with an atmosphere so dry and clear 
that distant objects are defined with a distinctness of outline and 
detail rarely found in regions so near to the sea. Through this 
transparent air we could see with wonderful clearness all the 
details of gorges and cliffs, of spurs and peaks, and of range 
rising behind range of the great mountain region which, trending 
away to the southwest and the northeast, borders the great plain, 
and forms, through its valleys, the stairway to the high table- 
lands of central Asia. 

The road we were following is one of the chief and most 


ancient highways of the empire. Passing through Shansi and 
Sz'chuen, it forms the land route to Thibet and India. In ita 
course it passes over lofty mountains, spanning deep gorges with 
suspension bridges, or with arched structures, and winding along 
precipices where the roadway had to be cut through the solid 
rock. It was along this route that Marco Polo travelled on one 
of his journeys when sent as embassador by Kublai-Khan. Be- 
fore reaching our resting-place for the night we passed the first 
object mentioned by the Venetian traveller — the bridge of Liu- 
kiu-chao, over the Huen river — or, as he calls it, the Puli-san- 
gan. This structure is built with many arches, and entirely of 
marble and hewn granite. It has undergone many changes 
during the six centuries which have passed since Marco Polo 
rode over it ; but the marble parapet, with its posts surmounted 
by lions, still remains as a voucher for his story. 

This highway, leading from Peking to the west, like the one 
approaching the city from Tung-chau (fu), is paved with granite 
slabs. Worn smooth, and cut up with deep ruts, it has long 
since sunk into disuse, and in places lies buried beneath drifts 
of sand. 

During this excursion, as indeed everywhere in the neighbor- 
hood of Peking, I saw many private cemeteries of wealthy Chi- 
nese families. They consist generally of a sombre closed building, 
surrounded by groves of cypress. In the centre of the grove are 
grouped the tumuli, in which are buried the cofiins. These 
mounds are from five to fifteen feet high, and are well covered 
with green turf. In many of them there is a profusion of marble 
monuments, often tall tablets eight or ten feet high, surmounted 
with the sculptured dragon, and supported on the back of the 
giant tortoise, indicating that they were erected by order of the 
Emperor in commemoration of some great services performed by 
the deceased. The imperial decree, with its date, is neatly in- 
scribed upon the face of the tablet. 

To these burial-places there is generally attached a certain 
amount of land, the revenue from which is devoted to the main- 
tenance of the grounds. Some families have founded large Bud- 
dist monasteries, the monks of which hold their fee on condition 
of keeping the place in order. Hundreds of these cemeteries are 
scattered around the environs of the capital. In their various 


states of preservation are recorded the fortunes of many, a family,; 
for the first duty of a Chinaman, after that whi ch he owes to living 
parents, is the respect -which he is e njomed to show to the_ ashe"3 
of his an66gtOl^!J. — tJndoubtediy tne many rumed places of the 
dead, where nothing is now visible but fallen and half-buried 
monuments, exist still in the memories and traditions of scattered 
families whose wealth has long since departed. Some successful 
descendant of the neglected dead may be now reaping in Califor- 
nia or Australia the fortune which will enable him to fulfil his 
familv duty by restoring the ancestral hall and its monuments. 

Toward sunset we passed through the gate of Leang-hiang 
(hien), and looking out for an inn, soon found ourselves in the 
court. of the principal caravansary. This was a large square, 
approached through a high gateway, and surrounded by a one-story 
building. The kitchen, filled with busy cooks and hungry travel- 
lers, stood at the entrance to the court, and as we entered formed 
a centre of attraction to a group of ragged beggars. At the bot- 
tom, of the square the building was raised a few feet higher from 
the ground than the rest of the inn, and contained the principal 
rooms. After a supper of cakes fried in oil, of boiled rice,. of mut- 
ton and fried eggs, our servants unrolled our bedding, and we 
went to sleep. 

The next day brought us to Fangshan (hien), a walled town 
at the foot of the mountains. Leaving this place after dinner, 
we crossed a granite ridge and passed through a region of 
low but rough hills. The road was paved with large blocks, of 
stone, which had become so smooth that it was impossible to ride, 
and even difficult to walk and lead one's horse. 

Jf assmg through a small village, i knocked at the door of amis- 
erable house, and asked for water to drink. The poor inmates 
brought me hot tea, not understanding how any one could wish to 
take into his stomach anything so insipid as cold water. When I 
offered a small amount in payment, they seemed almost offended, 
and I learned henceforth to credit even the poor mountaineers of 
utilitarian China with some of the delicate sentiments of Western 

Toward evening we reached a small village, where we were 
obliged to leave our horges and hire donkeys to take us to the 
cave. The road being very bad, it, was already dark when we 


stood knocking at the gate of the great monastery where we were 
to pass the night. The monks showed us to one of the best 
rooms, and our servants set out in search of the kitchen, where 
they were permitted to cook the fowls which we had taken the 
precaution to bring with us. This was a large monastery, full of 
rambling cloisters, surrounding courts and temples. When we 
went to sleep the distant sound of the low chant at vespers had 
not yet ceased, and the morning prayers greetecl our cars indis- 
tinctly when we awoke. 

After an early breakfast we set out on foot, and a long walk 
brought us to the entrance of the cavern. This is on the side of 
a precipitous hill, and high above the bottom of the valley. 
Near the mouth there stands a shrine and a marble tablet, erected - 
by the Emperor Kang-hi, the second of the present dynasty. / ^ 

Taking guides and torches we entered a long tunnel-like pas- 
sage, and proceeding a short distance came to a ■ large bas-relief 
of Budda, sculptured in the wall. It represents the great sage, 
either in the state of meditation or of absorption in the Nirvana. 
In all Buddist co untrie s, many, if not all, caveS are held sacred, 
and m many the shadow otT3udda is supposed' to be visible to 
those who, by leading holy lives, have so mortified the flesh as 
to be able to see things spiritual. We soon entered an immense 
chamber, the further end of which communicated by a low pas- 
sage with the next in the series. Entei-ing at first on our hands 
and knees, we came to a place where the passage was so small 
that the only way to pass was by lying flat and straight, and 
being pushed at the feet by one guide, and pulled by the hands 
by another. The most portly member of our party very fortu- 
nately took his turn last. Unhappily for him, although a pious 
man, he had not sufficiently mortified the flesh to be able to pene- 
trate to the inner mysteries of this holy place. After vain efforts 
we were forced to leave him wedged tight, literally stuck, with 
a guide tugging at each end to back him out. 

The second chamber is very large, and ornamented with sta- 
lactites to an extent w;hich well repaid the trouble we had passed 
through. In the centre there arises a large dome, upon which 
stand immense stalagmite pillars, in the grotesque outlines of 
which devout pilgrims are taught to trace human resemblances ; 
they are called the ro-han, or saints. 


The once brilliant incrustations of this chamber are now black- 
ened with the smoke of torches. A long series of chambers is said 
to continue far into the mountain ; but the exit at the further end 
of this room had been walled up by command of one of the Em- 
perors, because a party of pilgrims, having strayed beyond the 
explored regions, had never again been seen. 

Retracing our steps we again went through the wire-dra'iving 
process and rejoined Mr. Blodgett in the outer chamber. The con- 
necting passage between the two rooms had been polished to the 
smoothness of glass by the friction of countless pilgrims who had 
passed through it. 

Taking a more round-about way on our return, we ascended to 
the head of the valley, and, crossing the water-shed, came into an 
exceedingly wild and broken region. The limestone mountains 
are here cleft to their base by deejD gorges, with dashing tor- 
rents broken by Avaterfalls. Along the precipitous walls paths 
are hewn in the rock, now protected by parapets, now descending 
from ledge to ledge by long flights of steps cut into the cliffs. 
This seems to be the very paradise of monks. Monasteries and 
shrines, apparently centuries old, are scattered in profusion 
through these wild mountain recesses. They are perched in 
places seemingly the most inaccessible, crowning overhangino- 
cliffs hundreds of feet high, their walls built up flush with the edge 
of the precipice, and in situations .accessible only by steps hewn 
in the living rock. However practical the Chinese in general 
may be, there is certainly a love of the poetic in nature among 
the devotees of Buddism. It is perhaps from the comparatively 
limited number of imaginative Chinamen that Buddism recruits 
its monks. We visited several of these eyrie-like retreats, and 
were everywhere hospitably received, and invited to drink from 
that unfailing fountain, the overflowing tea-pot. Returning to 
the monastery where we had passed the night, we set out upon 
the road to Pekin, well pleased with all we had seen and experi- 



I HAD nearly finished the necessary preparations for a journey 
homeward through Tartary and Siberia, when, at the instance of 
Mr. Burlingame and Sir Frederick Bruce, the Chinese Govern- 
ment requested that I should undertake the examination of some 
of their principal coal fields. In order to suppress piracy and 
smuggling, the Government had instructed Mr. Lay, their Inspec- 
tor-General of Maritime Customs, Avho was then in England, to 
purchase and send out a fleet of gun-boats, officered and manned 
by Englishmen. A flotilla of eight steamers had accordingly ar- 
rived, under the command of Captain Sherard Osburn. Alarmed at 
the idea of having to pay from fifteen to twenty dollars a ton for 
English coal, and knowing that they had themselves large de- 
posits of this mineral, they decided to search for desirable fuel 
among their own mines. 

The arrangements were made over a lunch at the Tsung-li- 
yamun with the officers of the Board of Foreign Afiairs. The in- 
terview, which was very friendly, brought out some curious ideas 
with regard to geology ; among these was the belief in the growth 
of coal in abandoned mines : everything was produced by the co- 
action of ym and yang, force and matter, the active and passive, the 
male and female principles in nature ; and where surrounding con- 
ditions had once favored the production of coal, why should they 
not always favor it ? But at the same time they objected to ex- 
tensive mining, on the ground that it would exhaust the store on 
which future generations would be dependent : an inconsistency 
in reasoning which they got over by saying that the rate of 
growth of new coal is not known. Another objection to exten 
sive mining was the danger of litigation from trespass, and one 
of the officers immediately proceeded to give a long and roman 
tic story of a desperate subterranean battle which had raged for 
days underground between the forces of two mines which had 

288 ACROSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. xxn. 

suddenly become connected underground, an encounter in 
which the participants were mutually exterminated. 

It was agreed that three mandarins, two civil and one military, 
should go with me. The question having arisen as to how my name 
could he intelligibly written in Chinese, Tung Ta-jin selected for 
the first syllable the word Pang as the nearest approach offered 
by the language, and wrote it for me on a card in a character in 
which the principal element was the sign for a dragon. Did they 
think there might be some connection between the intended ap- 
proach to foreign innovations, and the clutches of this tei-ritic 
monster ? 

Through the kindness of Sir Frederick Bruce, Mr. Murray, of the 
English legation, was permitted to accompany me, and I will say 
in advance that much of the success which attended the excursion 
was due to his excellent knowledge of the Chinese language, as 
much of the pleasure was due to his genial companionship. 

Our first day's journey led us to Yang-fang, a little west of 
north from Peking, and lying at the foot of the mountains. A few 
miles before reaching this place we crossed the Sha-ho- river, near 
the city of Chang-ping (chau), by a long bridge of white marble. 
This is still in good preservation, if we except the deep ruts, 
Avhich here, as everywhere else, have ruined the granite pave- 

At Yang-fang a bold granite spur juts like a headland into 
the plain. Some ten or fifteen miles beyond, the mountain is 
cleft by the N"an-kau gorge, commanded by the ancient watch- 
towers and forts, which form the outposts of the great wall of 

The next morning, leaving the plain, we began the ascent into 
the mountains through a valley. Murray and myself, as well as 
Ma, the military mandarin, were mounted on strong Tartar horses, 
while Wang and Too, the civilians, being more effeminate, were 
carried in open chairs. Ma was a Mohammedan, and a type of 
the better class of Chinese soldiers ; easy-going and tolerably frank, 
he did not hesitate to express his contempt for tlie effeminacy of 
the civil mandarins in general, and for those of our party in par- ^ 
tlcular. Of these latter, Wang, the elder of the two, was a tall 
and well-conditioned man of about fifty, well informed aftpr the 
Chinese fashion, and with a uniformly pleasant expression, which 


betokened a really kind heart. On the other hand, Too was a 
type of the too frequent class of overbearing and " squeezing " 
mandarin. His voice and manner, always harsh, became posi- 
tively disagreeable npon the slightest provocation from an in- 

The valley we were ascending is cut deep into the Devonian 
limestone, and shut in by high and ragged cliffs. A tolerably 
good road, leading over alow pass, brought us into another valley 
tributary to the Huen-ho, and after a short descent we drew up 
at an inn in the mountain hamlet of Tien-kia-kwan. 

Before entering the house Too called the landlord to him and 
treated us to a characteristic scene. 

" What have you to eat ? " demanded Too. 

" Boiled millet and eggs," replied the landlord. 

" What do you charge for your eggs ? " 

" Very little — almost nothing, only six cash apiece," was the 

" How dare you call that cheap ? You must know that wc 
are no ordinary travellers. The Emperor has bought foreign 
steamers, and Prince Kung has sent this gentleman to find coal 
for them ; therefore you should let us have the eggs for three 

By this time Too had worked himself into a passion, and fairly 
shrieked his argument into the ears of the host and of the gath- 
ered crowd. By his appeal to patriotism he finally succeeded in 
reducing the price by, in our money, about one-tenth of a cent per 
egg, making a gain of about two cents on our bill, to be divided 
among the pockets of our escort. 

Although within fifty miles of one of the largest cities of the 
world, we were in a region where money is little used, nearly all 
the small transactions of the people being effected by barter of 
the necessaries of life. The currency of China is very clumsy, 
the copper coin being so bulky as to render its transportation 
costly, while the uncoined silver is extremely inconvenient, from 
the fact that it has to be weighed at every payment, while the 
scales of sellers and buyers rarely agree, and the legal standards 
of weight differ several times in the course of a few days' jouix 
ney. In Peking, besides the ordinary cash, there is a copper 
coin of which the actual value is many times less than that which 

290 ACROSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. xxii. 

is stamped upon it; this is useless beyond the walls of the city. 
Peking also enjoys' an institution which I had supposed w;as pecu- 
liar to the United State s, rxamely, an endless number of wild-cat 
banks issuing paper currency ; their notes are useless out of 
town, as no one will take them for fear the bank may liave already 
failed, or that it may suspend before its notes can be presented 
for payment. 

We found in the inhabitants of these mountains a simple- 
hearted and civil people, who Avere quite free from the dislike to 
foreigners which prevails among the inhabitants of the_ south , 
and for which Europeans ancTISmericans have chiefly themselv es 
to blame. Although every ounce of food that is gained from 
these baiTen hills is won by the hardest labor, I saw few signs 
of suffering among the inhabitants. They are contented with the 
boiled yellow millet, and a few vegetables, with now and then a 
dish of fried eggs, or a chicken which has passed the prime 
of life, whatever that period may be in the time allotted to a 

The next day we continued our journey southward, through a 
deep and narrow valley in the limestone. The hjgh and precipi- 
tous walls frequently approached each other so closely that the 
valley became a gorge. Finally we emerged into the more 
open country of the Huen-ho. Crossing a high spur, around which 
the river bends, we began our initiation into Chinese mountain- 
paths. Here the limestone has been traversed and dislocated by 
large dykes of porphyry, enclosing fragments of the slate which 
belong between upper and lower beds of the traversed rock. 
After passing this spur, our road lay for several miles along the 
steep face of the mountain, and high above the rushing rivei-. 
The road, paved with porphyry boulders, was almost impassable ; 
the rounded surfaces of the stones had been worn smooth' as 
glass by the daily passage for centuries of long trains of mules 
loaded witli coal. On such a road a false step might plunge both 
horse and rider into the roaring torrent below. 

At Ching-pai-kau we were ferried across the river, and entered 
the valley of the Chai-tang creek. Here passing a little mill 
worked by an overshot wheel, we continued our route under the 
shade of the willows along the edge of the sluice, till the valley 
narrovred and we entered a wild erorsre. The limestone clifls. 


which at first formed the walls, were succeeded as we went south 
by the towering peaks and steep declivities and side ravines of 
the great mass of conglomerate, which, overlying the limestone, 
forms itself the foundation of the coal measures. Soon tliis was 
succeeded by overlying beds of the softer sandstones and slates 
of the coal series, and we emerged from the narrow gorge into 
the broad and open valley of Chai-tang, a region of low hills with 
soft outlines, such as are characteristic of most coal basins. A 
few miles' journey brought us in sight of the walls of Chai-tang 
on one side of the creek, while on the otlier rose a high, flat- 
topped hill, with a lofty watch-tower at each end, ancient guard- 
ians of the valley. 

Soon after our arrival at the inn we were waited upon by the 
magistrate of the district, from whom we obtained a complete 
list of the coal mines in the neighborhood. 

Referring the reader elsewhere * for a detailed account of the 
mines of this district, I confine myself here to the remark that 
there is within a radius of four miles from Chai-tang a large num- 
ber of openings upon the coal seams. Within this area the coal 
varies from CE^king bituminous to pure anthracite. The seam con- 
taining the Fu-tau mine averages about seven feet in thickness, 
and produces a steam coal equal, if not superior, to the best 
Welsh variety.f The Ta-tsau or " great seam," about three miles 
south of the Fu-tau consisting of two beds, separated by about 
eight feet of sandstone, and containins: an asrsregate thickness of 
forty-eight feet of coal, is a deposit of remarkably fine anthracite. 

The other mines contain coal of a more bituminous character. 
Each variety has its distinctive Chinese name, and is mined for 
some special purpose in the domestic and manufacttiring arts. 
The coking varieties are burned to coke, and at every mine the 
dust, which with us is thrown away, is mixed with a little clay 
and moulded into cakes of artificial fuel. For many purposes, 
especially for use in the kitchen, this artificial product is esteemed 
more highly than when in the natural shape, as the globular form 
of the cakes admits a ready draught, while their composition is 
said to enable the consumer to control the rate of burning much 
better than with any other fuel. 

* Piimpelly's "Geological Researches in China, Mongolia, and Japan." Pablished by 
the Smithsonian Inftitntion, 18G7. 
t Foranalyses of Chinese coals, see Appenuix. 

292 A€BOSS AMERICA AlfD ASIA. [chap. xxii. 

In large cities situat ed at a distance from the mines the dust 
and cinders of coal are mixed with the dung of cows and horse sT" 
and with clay. 

The absence of machinery for draining has prevented the Chi- 
nese miners from working more than a few feet below water-level, 
and as the seams of the Chai-tang district are highly inclined, 
this point is soon reached. Aside from this, their whole system 
is so defective that the utmost capacity of production of any one 
mine in .this district is less than two thousand tons a year. The 
works are entered by an inclined plane, which descends in the 
coal to less than a hundred feet below water-level, when it com- 
municates with a nearly horizontal gallery, which, extending to 
the furthest limits of the property, forms the main thoroughfare 
of the mine. Though unable to work below this level, the Chinese 
miner literally exhausts the fuel lying above it. By means of 
using inclined planes connected by levels, he subdivides the seam 
into pillars. Ventilation is effected either by air-shafts or by a 
blowing machine, constructed much ujjon the same princij)le as our 
fanning mill for grain. The timbering, which is almost confined to 
the main level, is very costly, owing to the almost entire absence 
of wood. The accumulating water ot the. mine runs along the 
bottom level to the foot of the inclined plane. One-half the 
width of this slope is cut out into hollow steps, four or five feet 
high, in each one of which stands a man armed with a bucket ; 
by these the water is bailed from step to step, until it reaches the 
surface. In some mines this woi-k is done entirely by blind men. 
I The manner of raising the coal is not less primitive than the 
drainage, the bottom level and the inclined plane being covered 
with smooth round sticks, over which the coal is dragged in sleds 
by coolies. The passages are generally so low that these men 
are forced to go on hands and knees, dragging the sled by means 
of a cord passed around the neck and between the legs. The fuel 
sells at the different mines of this district at prices ranging from 
$1,'70 to $2- per ton— 2,000 lbs. 

The coal field of Chai-tang is cut off at the west by a high 
escarpment, the edge of a large area of intrusive porphyries. In 
this region, some five or six miles west of Chai-tang, there occurs 
a small patch of coal, which is cut up into small dislocated frag- 
ments by dykes of porphyry, which in places traverse the seams. 


and in some instances are spread out parallel to these, forming for 
a greater or less distance the roof or the floor of the bed. 

Near this place, which is called Ching-shui, there are the 
ruins of an old furnace, where some years since there were cast 
large quantities of iron currency. This expedient was adopted 
by the Government during its financial straits, with the view of 
making the iron cash pass for the same value as those of copper, 
than which latter, if anything, they were a little smaller. This 
attempt was a complete failure, and to this day this iron currency 
lies stored in immense quantities in one of the old palaces of the 
Tartar city. 

After having finished the examination of the Chai-tang district, 
I determined to visit the coal fields lying at the edge of the great 
plain on the eastern slope of the mountain. When the question 
was raised as to what route we should take, Too instantly infonn- 
ed us that he had made careful enquiries into the geography of 
the region, and had found that there was actually only one road 
leading out of it, namely, the one by which we had come. I had 
wished to descend the valley of the Huen-ho to the point where 
it enters the plain, and in spite of Too's geographical investiga- 
tions I felt confident that there must be a road of some kind fol- 
lowing the course of the river. Calling in the magistrate of the 
district, and several men who were said to be thoroughly acquaint- 
ed with the country, I held a council, which I had no doubt 
would confirm my belief in the existence of the desired road. 
But no; Too led oif with an argument, giving physical and polit- 
ical reasons why no road could either now be or ever have been 
built in the valley ; and he was unanimously sustained by the 
others. Murray, after a severe cross-examination, elicited the 
fact that a road had existed some time during the Han dynasty, 
or later, but that in many places the precipices, in the sides of 
which it had been dug, had fallen. But there was no road now ; 
this they were all agreed upon. Close questioning, however, 
brought out an additional fact, namely, that there was a path, im- 
passable, however, for animals, and attended with the, greatest 
danger even for foot passengers. Good, I said, we will take this 
road to-morrow. But we had not yet vanquished all the lions 
that seemed to stand guard over the valley of the Yang-ho. The 
path, they said, if such it could be called, was very winding, cros- 

2^94 ACROSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap, xxn, 

sing the river from shore to shore, and in places where the bed 
contained fathomless quicksands. This lion being defeated, a 
host of fresh ones came to the rescue. There were no inhabitants, 
and we could get nothing to eat ; in places the water was poison- 
ous ; there were caverns which hurled out terrific blasts of wind ; 
the river was subject to unaccountable freshets which were liable 
at any time to fill the gorges, carrying everything before them. 
When we asked one of the mountaineers how he had gained all 
this information about a valley which no one could visit, he re- 
plied that he knew it from two men who, in going through, had 
experienced all these horrors ; but unfortunately for his testimony 
he added that they were both swallowed up by quicksands. I 
must give credit to Wang and Ma for having taken no part in 
the argument. 

The next morning we returned to the valley of the Huen-ho, 
which, we descended to the point at which we had previously en- 
tered it. Here the road forked, and the one which descended the 
liver was certainly larger than the other one, by which we. had 
come into the valley from the north. To the intense disgust of 
Too, I turned into the river road. We soon found that this was 
in constant use. After going a few miles we came to a point 
where the river narrowed, and the valley contracted to a gloomy 
gorge, enclosed between lofty cliffs of limestone. In the face of 
the wall the road was hewn into steps, by which it ascended to a 
point high above the river, from which it again descended by 
another steep stairway. The route was less than three feet wide, 
with a vertical cliff on one side, while toward the river it was 
protected by a parapet about one foot and a half high. It was 
an ugly place for man or beast ; long use had polished the rock 
till it was as smooth as glass. Having begun the passage on 
horseback, neither Murray nor myself ventured to dismount, fear- 
ing to disturb the horse's balance on the smooth and narrow 
place. In making the descent my horse went down on his 
haunches, and I confidently expected that in his struggle to rise 
he would plunge us both over the parapet and down to, the dark 
mass of v/aters which were rolling and dashing far beneath us. 
The strong animal with great caution regained his feet, trembling 
like a leaf. 

I was not surprised when we found a considerable village a 


little further down, and better yet a comfortable dinner and bed 
in a region where we had been warned of the ab.sence of people 
and food. If anything astonished me it was the long trains of 
liundreds of mules, heavily laden with coal, which we passed the 
next day, for it seemed to me impossible that they could go up 
and down the smooth stairways which we had passed. 

During this day's journey we crossed the river once, fording 
over a bed of beautiful gravel ; but although there were neither 
quicksands, nor terrific winds howling from the bowels of the 
earth, the road was certainly horrible enough to have been built 
in the time of the Han, and used ever since without being re- 
paired. The river here keeps near the contact between the lime- 
stone and the overlying porphyry conglomerates. In each of 
these formations the aspect of the valley differs, but in both the 
scenery is extremely wild. 

At the little village of Wang-ping-tsun, where we stopped for 
the night, Murray and myself paid a friendly visit to Wang. 
•Behind all the politeness of the old man, we could perceive that 
our visit was not well timed. An opium pipe and lamp lying on 
the table were sufficient explanation of our friend's uneasiness. 
We had long known that he smoked opium, but the old man had 
supposed his habit unknown to all but himself. Seeing my looks 
involuntarily directed to the pipe, he made the common excuse, 
saying that he sometimes used the drug for relief from pain, but 
that he neither had contracted the habit, nor should he do so. 

When we were seated, Wang told us how a former friend of 
his, who had once been a magistrate of the place where we then 
were, had fallen into the habit of using opium ; how this habit, 
gaining on him, had caused him to neglect his ofiicial duties, and 
had transformed a kind-hearted and beloved magistrate into a 
hated tyrant, extorting from the poor villagers the means to meet 
the then high price of the drug ; how, after being mobbed and 
driven from his office, he became an outcast, and his family beg- 
gars. When Wang finished the story of his friend, by saying 
that in an attack of remorse and despair he had ended life by an 
over-dose of opium, there were tears in the old man's eyes, and I 
could not help thinking that he was unfolding his own future, so 
true was his story to the career of almost all who become addicted 
to this vice. 

296 ACROSS AMEBICA AND ASIA. [chap, xxu 

The next day our road passed over three high ridges, by- 
crossing one of which, the Niu-chaii-ling, we saved a very great 
bend in the river. Having reached the climax of the horrible, in 
describing roads already mentioned, I have no words left to do 
justice to this. For a distance of several miles the way over 
this hill is paved with large irregular blocks of porphyry, the 
surfaces of which are everywhere rounded and polished; In many 
places the formerly slight depressions at the point of contact be- 
tween three or four blocks have been worn into holes several 
inches deep by the shoes of countless mules, which during cen- 
turies have daily packed their heavy loads over this tedious pass. 

At Sankia-tien we came uj)on an arm of the great plain, finish- 
ing safely our journey through what Too had caused to be de- 
scribed as the very valley of the shadow of death. The real 
object of dread on the part of Too was the shortening of the 
journey, thereby depriving him of the chance to " squeeze " per- 
haps ten dollars in his accounts. 

Rounding a mountain spur, we entered the coal field of Mun- 
ta-kau, which lies in another ann or bay of the great plain. Here 
we found that a temple had been prepared for our reception, and 
that many little things had been, done to make our stay comfort- 

The coal of this region is altogether anthracite, and many 
openings have been made upon the several beds. ' One mine 
which I visited has been worked to a horizontal distance of 8,500 
feet. The seam is veiy irregular in thickness, viying from a 
few inches to six or seven feet. In this mine one man can bring 
to the surfa.ce only about one hundred and thirty-three pounds 
daily, owing to the great loss of time experienced in dragging 
the sled one mile and a half on hands and knees. The ventila- 
tion is assisted in this mine by a very large fan-blowei-. 

After staying a few days at "Mun-ta-kau, I determined to skirt 
along the edge of the plain to the coal district of Fang-shan 
(hien). To do this, both mules for the transportation of the bag- 
gage, and carriers for the chairs of Wang and Too, were needed. 
For these a requisition was sent in to the local magistrate, with 
a request that they might be ready by daylight the next morn- 
ing. The next day, seeing no signs of the animals, the magis- 
trate was sent for, but we received word that he was so drunk 


with opium that it ■would be some time before he could come. 
After several hours the officer arrived. He was a young man, 
a native of Sz'chuen, with a very eflfeminate and finely chiseled 
face. Dressed with the most scrupulous care, he was a type of 
the Chinese exquisite. 

He had made arrangements for men and mules the night before, 
and now sent off his attendants to find out why they had not 
appeared. These arms of justice soon returned with the delin- 
quents. The latter pleaded that their animals were employed on 
permanent contracts, from which they could not remove them 
without suffering much loss. " But you must fulfil the demands 
of the Government," replied the officer. " We cannot," answered 
the men sullenly. " Halloa there, beat these fellows," cried the en- 
raged mandarin. Two executioners with peaked hats immedi- 
ately stepped forward and forced the men to their knees, while 
others proceeded to apply a few blows with bamboo rods. In the 
meantime a consideralble crowd had gathered in the temple court, 
and were beginning to force their way into the temporary hall 
of justice. "How dare you intrude here?" cried the mandarin. 
" Drive them out ! drive them out ! " But the people caring as 
little for tlie executioners as for their magistrate, and heeding the 
words of neither, continued to press in. The crowd grew larger, 
and it seemed probable that a long-growing dislike of their man- 
darin was about to find vent in a riot. 

Just at this moment the crowd opened in the court, making 
way for Wang, who approached from our quarters on the other 
side. Wang had formerly been the magistrate at this very place, 
and the silence which came over the crowd, as well as the defer- 
ence shown him as he passed, proved that the old man had ruled 
kindly and well, and that his memory was still held in respect. 
A few words from Wang put an end to our trouble, and men and 
animals were immediately forthcoming. 

The small valley of Mun-ta-kau opens into a larger area of 
the gi'eat plain, and in the middle of this, a rugged hill, rising 
abruptly from the banks of the Huen-ho, is crowned with the pic- 
turesque ruins of the temple of Shi-ching-miao. As in some of 
the ruined castles of Europe, so here the broken sides and tops 
of cliffs are filled out with heavy masonry to make a foundation 
for the building upon the most picturesque and commanding 

298 ACROSS AMEBIGA- AND ASIA. [chap. xxii. 

point. Passages and rooms are hewn out of the sandstone rock. 
Ponderous doors of stone guarded the entrance to these rooms. 
The lands belonging to the temple are tilled by peaple- who in- 
habit less ruined buildings, but probably a small part of the pro- 
ceeds is devoted to repairs. I was told that this was the dwel- 
ling and temple of a formerly wealthy family. 

Proceeding southward, we skirted the foot of the mountains. 
On our left the great plain stretched away to the eastward. 
From slight eminences in the road we could see the gate-towers 
and pagodas of Peking, and the triple roof of the temple of 
Heaven. On our right were the rounded spurs and knobs of the 
sandstone hills of the Mun-ta-kau coal field, while over these 
towered an immense peak of limestone with ragged sides and 
lofty cliffs. Here on the summit, almost inaccessible, except for 
stairways hewn in the rock, and perched 1,500 or more feet above 
the plain, are the cloisters and temples of a Buddist monastery. 
The mountain is said to be honey-combed with caves. 

Our road now crosses a long, low spur which juts out into the 
plain. On the southern side of this ridge there are immense 
quarries of limestone. These have been worked for a great 
length of time, and over a large area ; and the valley in the 
sides of which they occur is filled to the depth often of forty or 
fifty feet, with layers of half-burnt limestone, chert, fragments of 
coal and ashes — the remains of former kilns. Through this 
deposit, which is now cemented to a hard concrete, the mountain 
brook has cut its channel to the limestone below. 

Passing out of this small valley, we came to a town of con- 
siderable size, called Ta-hwei-chang, or great lime depot. The 
walls had long been crumbling, till little was now left standing. 
But dilapidated walls in Chuaa are not necessarily a sign of 
decay in population or industry. As we proposed to dine at this 
place, we rode up to the principal eating-house. This was open 
to the street, and long before our dinner was served up the room 
was crowded with the curious of all ages, anxious to see, for the 
first time, and not only to see but to feel of, the queer barbarians 
of the western seas. 

" Go out, boys," said Ma. 

Upon this the largest lad in the crowd turned to one a little 
smaller, and exclaimed : 


" Go out, boy — go out. Don't you hear that the lo-yu does 
not want any boys here ? " 

But this one passing the injunction to a still smaller neighbor, 
it was repeated in a descending scale, till a little fellow about 
two feet high picked up the smallest child in the room and thrust 
him into the street. This turned the joke against us — always a 
disadvantage to a foreigner in a Chinese crowd. A traveller 
who has command of the language, together with patience and 
sufficient wit to put the more demonstrative members of even a 
Chinese mob in a ridiculous light, has little to fear, provided the 
crowd is swayed by no stronger motives than mere curiosity. If, 
however, he resent the great personal annoyance by blows, he 
places himself in a position of great danger. An instance some- 
what illustrative of this occurred to us in leaving Ta-hwei-chang. 
The whole population of men and boys followed us through the 
streets. From laughing at each other's jokes made at our ex- 
pense, they proceeded to open ridicule of us, and, regardless of 
our official escort, began to hoot, and finally to throw missiles. 
When they had reached this point, Murray stopped his horse, 
and, turning to face the crowd, raised his hand to motion silence. 
" O, people of Ta-hwei-chang ! " exclaimed Murray in excellent 
Chinese, " is this your hospitality ? Do ye thus observe the inj unc- 
tions of your sages, that ye shall treat kindly the stranger that is 
within your gates ? Have ye forgotten that your great teacher, 
Confucius, hath said : ' What I would not that men should do to 
me, that would I not also do to men ? ' " 

The effect of this exhortation was as remarkable as it was unex- 
pected by me. In an instant the character of the crowd was 
changed : the hooting and pelting had stopped to hear the barba- 
rian talking in the familiar words of Confucius, the old men 
bowed approvingly, and a number of boys jumped forward to 
show us the way. This scene will appear more impressive by 
contrast, if we suppose a couple of Chinamen, followed by a crowd 
of a few thousand American men and boys, and if we suppose, 
the two strangers to turn and quote in good English the similar 
passage of our Lord's sermon on the mount. The reader may 
form his own opinion as to the success of such an experiment. 

Before sunset I found myself again in Fang-shan, but this time 
in quarters which had been prepared for us. 

300 AOBOSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. xxii. 

Among the principal mines which we visited in this neighbor- 
hood were those of Chang-kau-yii, in the mountains, about eight 
miles west of Fang-shan. They belong to the family, Chang, 
one of whose members is decorated with a blue button. We 
reached this place about noon. As these mines had been worked 
for a great length of time, I determined to enter them. It was 
no slight undertaking. After reaching the foot of the inclined 
plane, I found the galley so low as to be passable only on hands 
and knees for a great part of the distance. After creeping for 
more than half a mile, the proprietor, who I believe had never 
been so far before in his own mine, gave out completely, and I 
continued my way to the end, accompanied only by the head 
miner. After penetrating to a distance of six thousand feet, I 
had little strength left to use in examining the workings, which 
are conducted in the same manner as those already described. 
Much timbering is used, though chiefly the wood of fruit trees, etc., 
which costs at the mine twenty-nine cents per hundred pounds. 
When I again reached daylight, with the skin nearly gone from 
my knee s, nearned that tbe ininer^'protect These "jo ints, a'grwBll 
as the hands, with pads. This was not very consoling information 
for one who had crept nearly two miles and aTialf without such 
protection^ ~"~~ 

It was a source of great wonder to the Chinese, as it was also 
to the Japanese, that a person holding my rank, and acting under 
an imperial commission, with authority to demand the presence of 
all of&cials on my route, should subject himself to the hardships 
which attend a personal examination of a mine. 

The sun was setting behind the mountain clifis when I reached 
the open air. The owner had prepared an extensive dinner in 
honor of the occasion. It would perhaps be uncharitable to say 
that this hospitality was in any way suggested by a desire to 
have the coal of this mine recommended for the new fleet ; but 
I always had a suspicion that our friend Too, who was very fond 
of the good things of the world, had suggested the policy of ap- 
pealing to my good will through the stomach. In vain I urged 
the lateness of the hour, and tbe danger of riding over the moun- 
tain road by night. Our host insisted that we should stay, and 
promised a procession of torch-bearers to light the way on our 
return. The dinner was good, as was also the rice wine, and we 


talked and laughed and ate and drank until I began to doubt 
even the ability of the torch-bearers to guide our merry party 
safely over eight miles of dangerous road. 

It was nine or ten o'clock before we mounted our horses, and I 
think that with the prospect before us, even Ma envied Wang 
and Too the chairs, for using which he despised them. With a 
large number of torchmen we left the mine and started upon our 
perilous journey. I have given so many descriptions of bad 
roads that it is only necessary to say of this that it was nearly equal 
to the worst. Paved with large and polished blocks, it wound 
along the side of a rocky ravine, and the danger was increased 
by frequent stair-like descents. We must have presented a re- 
markable sight, as our party wound along this road, with 
flaming torches, which lighted up at every instant some new fea- 
ture in the wild scenery, now a frowning crag towering above our 
heads, or again the yawning gorge beneath us, and the rushing 
torrent and waterfalls at its bottom. A wild sight it was, no 
doubt, and so too thought the inhabitants of the small hamlets 
which we passed in the dead of night, for we heard tlie barricad- 
ing of doors. So thought also a lone and frightened Chinaman, 
whom we found shaking with feai-, and hidden among some boul- 
ders, holding a pig which had betrayed him by its grunting. 
Everywhere we passed for a band of Ming-hwo, a class of rob- 
bers who in town and country make rapid raids in large numbers, 
and by torchlight. 

In the small hours of the morning our remarkable procession 
reached one of the gates of Fang-shan. The gates of Chinese 
cities are locked at dark, and the keys deposited with the magis- 
trate, and the law prohibits their being opened before daybreak. 
It required a long parley through' the closed portal with the guard 
on the inside before they could be induced to send word to the 
Ya-mun that we wished to enter, and it was nothing but the fact 
that I was travelling under an imperial commission that caused 
the gates finally to swing open and admit our weary party. 

The next day we received invitations to dine with the magis- 
trate of the city. As we traversed the court of the Ya-mun, at the 
appointed time our ears were greeted with a sound of suppressed 
chattering, and we could see that all the chinks of the surround- 
ing windows were occupied by the ladies Of the household. Our 

302 A0B088 AMEBIOA AND ASIA. [chap, xxii 

host led us into a room where the table was spread. In accord- 
ance with Chinese etiquette, he spent some time in persuading 
each of the guests to take the head of the table, a distinction 
which each one was bound by the laws of politeness to decline. 
The host, then standing in that place himself, insisted upon each 
and all sitting down before him, which of course was persistently 
declined, as it would have been a breach of politeness for a guest 
to take his seat first. The dinner began with a cup of hot rice 
wine. The table was loaded with dishes, which were placed one 
upon another in tiers, forming a pyramid of Chinese delicacies. 
There were soups made of birds' nests, of the haliotis, and of sharks' 
fins; there was beche-de-mer ; there were stews and pates; there 
were roots of the water-lily ; but it would take too long to enu- 
merate all the dishes spread before us, of each of which one was 
expected to taste. Great as is the variety of articles of food in 
the Chinese cuisine, some things which in other countries are con- 
sidered most essential are missed by the traveller, and of these 
none more than butter, bread, and milk. There is a kind of bread 
which is cooked by steam, and there are flour-cakes fried in oil : 
they are poor substitutes. A little milk is s old, and women's 
milk is peddled round thg_citig s mostly for the use of invalids. 
Foreigners "are shy of patronizing the Chinese milkmen. There 
is an old story on the coast that at a dinner given by a for- 
eigner, the host took a servant to task for serving no milk for the 

" Boy go catchee milk," said the gentleman. The servant' dis- 
appearing, soon returned with the answer : " N"o have got." 

" What for no have got ?" 

" ' &at_jow have got too muchee piecee chilo ; th at woman 
Iiave_die. " replied the boy. By this the servant informed the 
gentleman and his guests that they had been saved from drinking 
the milk of either a sow or a woman only by the death of the 
la tter, and by the birth of a litte r to the former. 

The only unpleasamrteatilreabout our dinner was the custom 
of every one helping everybody else, so that I could eat nothing 
which had not made acquaintance with my neighbor's chop- 
sticks. The intervals between the courses were occupied in eat- 
ing the kernels of pumpkin seeds, which are so much used in 
China that they form an unportant item in the trade of certain 


provinces. In peeling these seeds, if in no other way, the long 
nails of a Chinese exquisite certainly do good service. 

The next day we started on our return to Pekin. The crops 
were all harvested, and the tall stalks of the sorghum no longer 
obstructed the view. Hamlets and farm-houses were scattered 
far and near; the plain seemed Uke one vast field, hroken only 
here and there by rows of willow trees, raised for the manufac- 
ture of charcoal. At every farm-house the hard threshing-floor 
of pounded earth presented a busy scene : laughing groups of 
men, women, and children were threshing grain, or tossing it in 
the air to be winnowed ; while others, pushing a long lever, worked 
the mill which ground it to flour. 

As soon as I reached the American legation I learned that the 
Government, abandoning the idea of organizing a steam navy, 
had decided to send the flotilla back to England to be sold. This 
unwelcome news put an end to my hopes of being able to study 
the coal fields of the more distant parts of the empire. 

About this time there arrived at Pekin the Corean embassy. 


bringing the annual tribute to the Emperor of China. I had 
hoped to get from them a great deal of information about their 
country, and its relations with China and Japan ; but before I 
was able to do this, a severe attack of the small-pox put an end 
to my plans for the winter. 

Dr. Pogojefi", of the Russian legation, succeeded in taking the 
photographs of several members of the embassy, including the 



[chap, xxil 

chief embassador, whose state costume resembles that of the 
Chinese court under the Mings. 

The attendants were dressed in white cotton clothes, padded 
throughout with cotton batting, and quilted. Their hair was 
arranged in a knot, secured under a cotton covering ; over this 
they wore broad-brimmed hats of very open horse-hair work. 




The month of April had now arrived. Two months of confine- 
ment with a severe attack of small-pox had passed, and now 
returning strength and the warming days of spring roused me to 
impatience for action. A journey made in the beginning of 
winter to the great wall and the confines of Tartary had only 
served to excite in me a wish to penetrate further into that mys- 
terious and almost unknown region which occupies the great 
table-land of central' Asia. My wish was, first to travel as far 
west as possible upon the plateau, in order to gain some knowl- 
edge of the nature of the country, and of the character and habits 
of the people ; and then, after studying the language, to endeavor 
to reach the plains and valleys, which, lying between the Celes- 
tial mountains and the Himalaya, were in the dawn of human 
antiquity the cradle-land of our race. 

I was fortunate in finding in Dr. Pogojefi", of the Russian lega- 
tion, a companion for the journey. On the morning of the 5th of 
April we left the northwestern gate of the city. Nearly the 
whole of our first day's journey lay over the road by which I had 
begun my trip to the coal fields. 

At Chang-ping-chau a road branches off, leading to the tombs 
of the Ming emperors, which I had visited on a previous excur- 
sion. These monuments of one of the most brilliant dynasties of 
China lie in a large circular valley, which, opening out from the 
great plain, is surrounded on all sides by limestone peaks and 
granite domes, a barren and waste amphitheatre. Grand in its 
dimensions,. and almost awful in its desolation, it is a fitting 
place for the imperial dead of the last native dynasty. 

Soon after entering the valley the road passes under an im- 
posing gateway of sculptured marble, and after this beneath two 
large arched buildings. Some distance beyond these we come 
to the first of a long series of colossal forms of animals, in marble, 

306 ACROSS AMEBIGA AND ASIA. [chap. xxin. 

■which, standing on either side of the road, form an avenue of 
half a mile or more in length. Of these there are on either side : 
1. Two lions standing. 2. Two lions sitting. 3. One camel 
standing. 4. One camel kneeling. 5. One elephant standing. 
6. One elephant kneeling. 7. One griffin standing. 8. One 
griffin sitting. 9. Tvro horses standing. 10. Six warriors, 
courtiers, etc. 

These pieces, thirty-six in number, are all colossal, and each is 
a monolith. In this remarkable avenue the figuries face each 
other, and in passing between them my wild Tartar horse reared 
and pitched with something of the terror felt by my mustang in 
passing through a more horrible avenue of standing carcasses on 
the American desert.* 

From here the road leads directly across the valley, passing 
over several marble bridges, now more than half buried under 
sand and gravel, and enters the grounds surrounding the central 

At regular intervals, along a curve of a mile or more in length, 
upon the mountain side, are thirteen great halls, each consecrated 
to the memory of a Ming emperor. Passing through the grounds 
of the central one we come to an imposing building, and, ascend- 
ing the' flight of long steps by which it is approached, we enter a 
hall, of the size of which I remember only that its width is more 
than ninety feet, while its length is, I think, about two hundred. 
The ceiling; from forty-five to sixty high, is supported by a 
great number of pillars, distributed in several rows. Each of 
these columns is a single stick of teak timber eleven feet in cir- 
cumference ; these were brought for the purpose from the south, 
and with a land journey of more than thirty miles from Peking. 

Behind this memorial hall there rises an artificial tumulus per- 
haps fifty or sixty feet high, through which there is built a rap- 
idly rising and arched passage of white marble, leading to the 
summit, which is crowned by an inposing marble structure, a 
double arch, beneath which stands the imperial tablet. This is a 
large slab, sculptured at the top with the dragon, and standing 
upright upon the back of a gigantic tortoise. Somewhere in this 
tumulus lie the remains of the Emperor, but the entrance to the 
tomb is nowhere marked. 

* See page. 58 

Lake loam 


Terrace Deposit. 

Volcanic Rocks 
of the Plateau. 

Kalgaiv Trachytic 

Chinese Coal 






Metam Orphic Schists, 
I 1 


The twelve other imperial sepulchres are said to resemble this 
one in every respect. 

But let us return to the narration of the present journey. Long 
before we reached the mountains we could see the dark line of 
the defile which leads to the Nan-kati pass, and the watch-tow- 
ers and fortresses and walls, winding from plain to peak, which 
formed the innermost defences of this important approach to the 
capital. After a ride of seven hours and a half we reached Nau- 
kau, our first resting-place, thirty miles from Peking. The next 
morning, leaving the plain, we entered the narrow valley, winding 


for several miles through a desolate gorge, enclosed by lofty walls 
and yellow clifis of limestone. The mountain torrent, which at 
certain seasons dashes wildly through the valley, makes the con- 
struction of a durable road almost impossible, and it was oulv 
with diificulty, and with faith in the sure feet of our horses, 
that we managed slowly to pick our way through the long and 
narrow field of sharp-edged boulders and masses of fallen rock. 
After several miles of this work we came to a point where the 
remains of an ancient road rising some distance above the bed 
of the valley was preserved along the mountain side. Ascend- 

308 ACROSS AMERIOA AND ASIA. [chap. xxui. 

ing this by a long flight of steps, of highly-polished blocks of lime- 
stone, granite, and porphyry, we passed through a gateway in an 
inner branch of the great wall, and came soon after to a beautiful 
white-marble arch built during the Chin dynasty. This struc- 
ture is remarkable from the fact that while its blocks are cut for 
a circular arch, the inner surfaces are hewn to produce a ceiling 
of semi-hexagonal form. It is interesting also to the student 
of the Cliinese language, from the fact that the interior contains 
inscriptions in an ancient Chinese character. As Dr. Pogojeff 
wished to photograph this monument, we remained hei-e till the 
next day, quartered upon a poor family who could offer us nothing 
but their good will and hot water for our tea. The next day, 
continuing the ascent of the valley, we left the limestone and 
came into the granite heart of the mountain. Here, at a point 
where a bold cliff overhangs the valley, there is a Buddist shrine 
hewn into the face of the rock high above the path. 

At many points in this mountain pass I observed the ruins of 
an ancient road, which, in its time, must have been built with a 
great expenditure of labor and treasure. But the mountain tor- 
rent and the frosts of centuries have left but small traces even of 
the ruins. Here and there a fragment of a massive arch, or a 
few rods of roadway paved with large hewn blocks of granite, 
have been left standing. After traversing about two-thirds of 
the pass, the way leaves the valley. Here ascending by a fright- 
ful road through the wildest of mountain scenery — a desolate 
region of barren and shattered masses of granite, cleft to their base 
by deep and gloomy chasms — we reached the summit, and stood 
in full view of the inner branch of the great wall of China. 

The importance of this position led to its being well defended. 
The wall is built here of hewn rock, from twenty to thirty feet 
high, parapeted and well paved on the top, and defended by 
towers at regular intervals of a few hundred feet. This structure, 
now almost as perfect as the day when it was raised two thou- 
sand years ago, winds along the mountain crest, climbing every 
peak, descending steep declivities, and supported at the edge of 
precipices on bold masses of masonry ; look where one will, its 
crenulated parapet and gray towers are visible in lines which 
apparently double and re-double on each other, now standing ou* 
against the sky on the peaks above us, or again winding along 


the lower spurs, and crossing the valley beneath our feet. Only 
the parapet is of brick. Wherever the wall ascends the moun- 
tain side its top is built in steps to aid the ascent of soldiers. 
Many of the towers are several stories high, and are provided 
with loop-holes, and with arched windows. 

A terrific wind was blowing when we reached the summit, and 
so strong was the blast which whirled through the arched gate 
of the wall that our horses could barely keep their foothold on 
the smooth pavement. The descent to Cha-tau is extremely 
rough. This is an ancient fortress, commanding the northern 
approach to the pass, and is surrounded with ruins of massive 
towers and arched buildings. 

Here we entered upon the first of a series of mountain plains, i 
fringed with loam terraces, occupying the enlargements of the 
valleys of the Yang-lio and its tributaries. We shall see that 
these are the beds of a chain of lakes, which once extended for 
six hundred miles across northern China, and have since been 
drained, leaving only rivers and creeks to wind along their former 

Picking our way over the stony plain, we reached the walled 
town of Tu-lin. It was already sunset, and without stopping 
to choose more closely our quarters, we rode into the court-yard 
of the first inn we saw. I had hardly dismounted when I remem- 
bered that I had stayed one night at the same house on a former 
journey. At that time the landlord had brought to me his son, 
a boy about eight years old, begging that I would cure him. I 
could not make out what was the matter with him, and would 
not have known had I been told. In vain I insisted that I knew 
nothing of medicine. The landlord, believing all foreigners to be 
physicians and sorcerers, still urged that I should cure him. 
Finding all protestation useless, I had left some simple pills, with 
very wise instructions as to how they should be used. The inci- 
dent had passed entirely from my mind, and now recurred for the 
first time when I found myself again in the same inn. Heavens 
protect us ! I thought, if the child has by any chance died, for 
we shall have the whole town upon us in a mob. I thought the 
landlord looked very unhospitable as he showed us to our room 
at the head of the court. When he left I had begun to hope 
that he had not recognized his former guest. But before long 

310 ACROSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. xxm. 

the soand of many voices was heard, and the clattering of feet, 
which showed that the court-yard was filling. 

Keeping my revolver near at hand I waited, not without some 
anxiety, for whatever might be coming. Soon the door flew 
open, and a crowd of men and women entered ; but much to my 
satisfaction, they were preceded by the very boy in question, 
led between his father and mother. The child and his relatives 
immediately went down on their knees, and knocking the ground 
several times with their heads, expressed in warm terms their 
gratitude to the " honorable and wise physician " who had per- 
formed this wonderful cure. 

Now we were besieged in earnest ; the fame of the cure had 
gone far and wide, and it did not take long to spread the news of 
the arrival of two doctors through the pretty large circle of 
suffering inhabitants of Yu-lin. During a good part of the night, 
and until we left the next morning, our room was a hospital for 
the blind and the halt, the deaf and dumb, consumptives and 
epileptics, and many other kinds of suffering humanity. The 
doctor could of course do little or nothing, and left with fees in 
the shape of well-earned blessings. 

The great wall with its countless towers is visible several miles 
off, winding along the crest and over the peaks of the high moun- 
tains which shut in this valley on the south. Where the Yang- 
ho, leaving the plain, enters the deep gorge by which it finds its 
way through the rooky range, a large fortress like a walled city 
is built upon the mountain side. 

Our road, after passing over several miles of fertile bottom-land, 
approaches the city of Ilwei-lai (hien), a place which in its day 
must have had considerable importance. A long and handsome 
bridge of white marble with many spans here crosses a tributary 
of the Yang-ho ; but several of the arches are gone, rendering it 

Beyond Hwei-lai the road, rising to the summit of a terrace, 
skirts the edge of the mountains, and passes through several 
walled towns, and near one or two which are entirely deserted, 
their crumbling walls enclosing now only cultivated fields. Be- 
fore us rises a high, sharp peak with ragged and precipitous sides 
and crowned with ruins. This is called the Ki-ming-shan or 
Cock-crowing mountain. A legend relates that two pious sisters 


vowed, the one to build a convent on the top of the mountain 
the other to bridge the river below, between sunset and daylight. 
The sister on the summit fulfilled her vow, but the cock crowing 
before the other had finished the piers of her bridge, she drowned 
herself in despair in the river. 

Before reaching the town of Ki-ming-i we skirted the foot of 
a long mountain called the Pa-pau-shan, or eight precious hills, 
near the base of which lime was being burned. Passing under 
the walls of Ki-ming we came to the Yang-ho, at the foot of the 
Ki-ming mountain. This peak consists of the limestone which, 
as we have seen, forms the floor of the coal formation, and which 
here, bending upward with a vertical dip, forms the eastern bor- 
der of a narrow coal basin, which it overhangs. The western side 
of the mountain has been honey-combed by the miners, and 
probably the caving in of these works has done much to give 
the hill its broken appearance. Although this anthracite basin 
is here narrowed to very small dimensions, it is either an outlier 
or a continuation of the coal field of Ta-tung (fu), in Shansi, for 
the valley of the San-kang-ho is in a synclinal fold, at the east 
and west ends of which we find respectively the coal of Ki-ming 
and of Ta-tung. A few miles northwest of Ki-ming the road 
enters a gorge, by which the Yang-ho finds its way through 
mountains of limestone and schalstone. The route is quite 
picturesque, being cut into the rock along the edge of the rapid 
and foaming river. At the northwestern end of these narrows a 
small cluster of houses, called Hiang-shui-pu, is the usual resting- 
place for the middle of the day. Here caravans of camels and 
mules are rested, while their drivers collect in a large room, 
which is at the same time kitchen and eating house. Here also 
we entered, and, sitting down at a rough deal table, ordered our 
dinner of the Chang-kweite, or, as Abbe Hue calls him, " the Inspec- 
tor of the chest." There were stewed mutton, and fried mutton, and 
beef and poultry, chi-tang-chau'er or fried eggs, lau-ping and 
man-tau, or fried cakes and steamed bread, and vermicelli. There 
was also pork in various shapes, but our knowledge of the Chinese 
pig and its habits disinclined us from partaking of its flesh. Ex- 
cluding this we ordered a little of everything else, and the cook- 
ing of our dinner began under our eyes. We heard the chickens 
squeal, and in a few minutes they were thrown through the win- 

312 AGB0S8 AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap, xxra 

dow to the cook, -who had them dressed and broiling in an incred- 
ibly short time ; the bread-maker put the lumps of man-tau into 
the steamer and then busied himself with the lau-ping. Taking 
a large piece of well-kneaded dough, and making it into a stick 
a yard long, he drew, threw, pulled and twisted it until it as- 
sumed the dimensions of a girl's skipping rope, and then doubling 
and twisting and pulling it again and again, producing a double 
stub and twist texture, he cut it into small pieces, which after a 
good deal of flapping and patting became respectable disks ; as 
he finished each of these he uttered a shout, and with a well- 
directed aim tossed it some twenty or thirty feet across the room 
to the cook. In the meantime another man was manufacturing 
the vermicelli. Seated on a machine, some three or four feet above 
the cooking range, this man worked a long lever which moved a 
piston in a cylinder with a perforated bottom ; at every stroke 
the long white strings descended into a boiling pot beneath, until 
the cook, judging that the quantity was equal to the demands of 
our appetite, cut ofi'the material flush with the cylinder, giving the 
man on the lever time to curl up on the narrow board and smoke 
his pipe till another customer should need his services. While 
waiting for dinner the traveller passes his time in drinking large 
quantities of tea, but during the meal the beverage consists of 
the strong rice brandy, sometimes flavored with rose leaves, and 
always taken hot. 

From this place the road, leaving the river, crosses a desolate 
region of low hills, and then descends into the plains, and after a 
few miles approaches Siuen-hwa (fu). This is a large city, once 
of considerable importance, and now interesting to the traveller 
from the fact that it has some very good inns. 

Our stopping place was outside the gate, but wishing to pre- 
sent a letter to the head of the Roman Catholic mission we entered 
the city the next morning. Two broad avennes, intersecting each 
other at right angles in the centre of the town, connect the four chief 
gates. At the crossing of these ways there stands a large tower 
several stories high and highly ornamented ; it is pierced at the bot- 
tom by a groined arch, coinciding with the crossing of the avenues. 

At the mission building we found only Chinamen, one of whom 
informed us, in very fair Latin, t hat the father had gone beyond 
the wall to administer the sacrament. 


The lowlands of the plain are fertile and well cultivated, but a 
few miles northwest of Siuen-hwa the road ascends a terrace slope 
where the surface is stony and sandy, and then enters a region 
of hills of trachytio porphyry and drifted sand. The rock is 
amygdaloidal and contains very beautiful varieties of chalcedony. 
Passing this low spur, the road continues over a sandy plain to 
Chang-kia-kau, called Kalgan by the Russians, one of the great 
market towns of the empire, and a fortress of the great wall. It 
is a long and narrow place, stretching several miles along the west 
bank of a tributary of the Yang-ho. The stream here breaks 
through a short and narrow go:yge with vertical sides, forming a 
natural outlet for the great highway to northern Asia. Here 
too is a gate of the great wall, and on either side of the gorge the 
timeworn structure and its towers are visible, climbing the steep 
slopes, and winding along the uneven mountain crest. Tlie long 
pull to the top of the mountain is well repaid by the wide view. 
Climbing to the top of a ruined tower I could see in the north the 
level outline of the table-land of central Asia ; while to the south, 
beyond the broad valley of the Yang-ho, the country rises in 
ridges, one behind the other, the furthest and highest just visible 
as snow-capped domes. 

The great wall was built about 200 years B.C., as a barrier 
against the hordes of Tartar cavalry. It was everywhere con- 
structed of the materials found in the immediate neighborhood. 
On plains and terraces, which afforded clay and loam, it was con- 
structed with an earthen core, built up in well-pounded layers, 
growing narrower toward the top, and faced with large tiles laid 
flat. The top also was paved with tiles, and defended with a 
parapet. On mountains of stratified rock the facing was made 
of masonry, and the interior filled with earth and cobble-stones. 
Here on the mountain of Kal-gan, where the rock is a trachytio 
porphyry, which breaks only into most irregular shapes, the wall 
is of solid masonry, the stones being laid in cement ; its section is 
here an isosceles triangle, the crest being brought to a sharp edge. 
Everywhere throughout its length it is defended by towers, which 
rise from it at regular distances of a few hundred feet. In many 
places the northern side was defended by ditches and embank- 
ments, but I do not know whether these formerly existed along 
its whole length, or whether those places in which I saw them 

314 AOBOSS AMEBIC A AND ASIA. [chap. xxin. 

were the sites of ancient attacks, during which these were thrown 
up for local defence. Every mountain pass and every weak point 
was defended by a fortified town. The wall is now in very dif- 
ferent states of preservation, according to the material used. In 
the valleys, the points where it was originally the most needed, 
it has crumbled into a mere line of rubbish, which is being rapidly 
graded down by the plow. 

During the early periods of Chinese history,, when the young 
nation was asserting its existence against natural obstacles and 
the aborigines of the country, as well as external foes, it seems 
to have been a common practice to defend the approaches to the 
more peopled districts by walls of greater or less length. Fre- 
quent mention is made to this effect in the earlier histories of the 
northern provinces. Thus, in the Fang-yu-chi-yau, it is said 
that Chang-Wang, of the Chow dynasty (1134 to 256 B.C.), built 
the wall of old Nan-pi, two miles and a half northeast of the 
present town of that name, as a defence against the San-Sung 
(ancient Tartars). Nan-pi is in southeastern Chih-li. Again there 
is an earthwork thirteen miles south of Tien-tsin, which is said to 
have been built by the chief of the kingdom of Shan-tung, for 
protection against the northern barbarians. 

The honie of the nomads, chiefly the Hiung-nu (the ancient 
Turks), was on the plains of the plateau of central Asia. Along 
the edge of this region the princes of Tsin, of Chow, and of Yau, 
had built defensive walls.* This was during a time when China 
was subdivided into petty feudal states. When Tsin-chi Hwang- 
ti, " the first universal emperor," had consolidated all these con- 
tending territories, he began the work of uniting all the northern 
defences. T h e result, after ten years of labor, was a continuo us 
wall, extending from the gulf of Liau-tung , fifteen hundred miles 
west, to the mountains of Kan-suh . " It has been estimated that 
this monstrous monument of human labor contains material suf- 
ficient to surround the whole globe, on one of its largest circles, 
with a wall several feet in height." 

Chang-kia-kau is the frontier town on the main highroad to 
northern Asia, and the point of union of two great channels of 
northern trade, coming from Han-kau on the Yangtz', and from 
Tien-tsin on the Pei-ho. This position has made it the starting 

* See note by Klaproth, In " Timkowski's Travels," Vol. I., p. 309. 


point of the caravans which carry the immense quantities of tea 
consumed by the eighty or one hundred millions of the inhabitants 
of Russia. It is also a distributing point for the more varied trade 
with central Asia, though in this respect it has a strong competi- 
tor in Kwei-hwa-chung, or Koko-hoton, a market town near the 
northern bend of the Yellow river. 

Before leaving Peking we had endeavored to obtain passports 
for Chinese Tartary ; but the Government had declined to assume 
any responsibility for our safety beyond the limits of the great 
wall. We now found that without such documents we could 
get no guides, either among the Tartars or the Chinesd This was 
however no great privation, as the prospect of being thrown 
upon our own resources, on a journey which had no definite point 
in view, added considerably to the romance of the adventure, 
which is the delight of the explorer. As no Tartars would ac- 
company us, we were obliged to retain our Chinese muleteers. 
Besides these I had my Chinese servant, and the Doctor was ac- 
companied by a Cossack, from the Russian legation, who was 
both a Mongol by birth, and a Buddist by religion. 

Leaving Chang-kia-kau by the gate of the great wall, we 
ascended a narrow gorge between lofty cliffs of trachytic por- 
phyry. Eight hundred or a thousand feet above us the precipice 
on our left was crowned by the black line and ruined towers of 
the great wall. For several miles the valley was bordered by 
lofty hills of porphyry and tufa, with steep slopes and castellated 
summits, the declivib^es, often ribbed with dykes of younger rock, 
projecting like walls above the surface. The tufa and porphyry 
are quarried at several places in slabs and blocks for building. 
About seven miles from Chang-kia-kau the character of the coun- 
try changes, and we pass for a short distance between hills of 
metamorphic schists, rising in sharp-edged pyramids with grassy 

The valley has a rapid and regular descent, and its bottom is 
a smooth, even surface of gravel. A little further on, the walls 
cf the valley are formed of flat-topped hills of gravel, eighty to 
one hundred feet high. 

Near Tutinza, a small village of Chinese mud huts, the road 
begins a more rapid ascent for a few miles. After overcoming 
this, the traveller stands upon the steppes of Tartary, and beyond 

316 A0B0S8 AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. xxra. 

the limits of China proper. Here also the great wall rises to 
the top of the plateau, after making a sharp bend to the north. 
From a crumbling tower, standing on the very edge of the escarp- 
ment of the table-land, I obtained one of the fine views which, 
among the many reminiscences of extensive journeys, stand pre- 
eminently impressed upon my memory. Stretching far away on 
either side there was the precipitous edge of the plateau, over- 
hanging the lowe r country asthe clifls of a bold coast overhang 
the sea . To the north lay the boundless steppes of Tartary ; to 
the south the mountains of China. We were here on one of the 
sharpest boundary lines drawn by nature on our planet. The 
change, geologically and topographically, from the broken and 
barren mountains of metamorphic rocks, Devonian limestone, and 
Triassic coal, to the high grass-clad plains, forming the surface of 
the comparatively recent volcanic rocks and marine deposits oF 
Mongolia, is extremely abrupt. Climatically and socially the 
transition is not less sudden; the plains to the north receive 
winds which have been drained of their moisture by the broad 
belts of surrounding countries. Being thus scantily watered, 
and possessing no fuel but the dung of cattle , they are suited 
only tb~the subsistence of pastoral nomads, and their herds of 
sheep, camels, horses, and cows. The habits and status of these 
wanderers are fixed by nature; there can be no progress, no 
transition fi-om the nomad life to a higher order of existence, 
since the very elements of such progress are excluded by the sur- 
rounding physical influences. 

Nowhere is the influence of nature over the condition of man 
more marked than here. There is no apparent limit to the length 
of time that a nomad race might roam over these plains without 
advancing a step in the social or intellectual scale ; but simple 
habits, life in the saddle, and a meat diet, have made of them 
a race of hardy warriors, needing in the past only a Gengis Khan 
or a Timour to make them shake the world. 

South of this boundary all is difierent. When the early Chi- 
nese, themselves probably long a nomad people, first entered 
their present country, they entered also upon a new life. A coun- 
try suited only to agriculture, it necessarily revolutionized the 
habits of its settlers. The varied gifts of nature, and the necessity 
of using them; the obstacles offered by man and nature, and 


the necessity of overcoming them — these were tlie seeds -which 
were to ripen ; and being planted in a land wonderfully adapted 
to their growth, out of them has arisen, step by step, a civilization 
which until recently towered above all others. 

From one ruined tower we could see the winding courses of 
the great wall, the barrier raised by man twenty centuries ago 
between barbarism and refinement. Though not always sufficient , 
it has withstood more than one shock. Tempted by the wealtli 
61: the em pire, in wave after wave the fierce hordes of the no rth 
have sp ent their fury and their strength against this w all, and, 
roTIing~back, have overwhelmed the less resisting nations, even 
of Europ e. 

I could see that while the general course of the plateau escarp- 
ment was north of east and south of west, it was as sinuous as a 
coast line, bending northward in deep bays, or jutting south in 
long peninsulas, terminating in bold promontories. The belt from 
ten to thirty miles wide, lying between its base and the moun- 
tains of northern Chili, is far below the level of the plateau, and 
has the appearance of a region of low flat-topped hills. The 
plateau at its edge consists of a black volcanic rock, the decom- 
position of which furnishes the soil and nutriment for the heavy 
growth of grass with which the plains are covered. 

The elevation here above the seals 5,400 feet, * and is probably 
not less than from 3,000 to 3,500 above Chang-kia-kau. From this 
southern edge the general elevation of the plateau drops off to 
the northward to the sand desert of Gobi. 

Ifear the tower which has just been described is a small postal 
station called Hanoor. 

The view inspired me with a wish to travel westward on the 
table-land, keeping near the edge. This plan seemed to promise 
both insight into the geological structure of the country and a 
greater variety of scenery. I knew that Ilanoor was near a car- 
avan route which, branching off from the post-road, took a west- 
erly course ; but the only information we could get from the people 
was, that the first place to the westward was called Borotsedji. 
As it was already afternoon we determined to make that point 
our stopping place for the night. Leaving Hanoor with the 
intention of following the first indications of a route to the west, 

* Fuss nnd t. Bnnge. 

318 ACROSS AMERICA AND ASIA. • [chap, xxiir. 

we passed a small lake with no outlet, covered with ice excepting 
around the edges. In the little open water thus left them were 
many ducks, pioneers of the annual migration northward. The 
surface of the country here is rolling, or rather the plateau is 
covered with knobs, eighty to one hundred and fifty feet high, 
with rounded tops and broad bases, the profile lines forming 
unbroken and gently sweeping convex and concave curves. 

Seeing some antelopes in the distance, I left the road with the 
Doctor and the Cossack to get a shot. The unaccustomed excite- 
ment put us so far off our guard that when we had finished the 
fruitless chase we found ourselves .lost. After trying for some 
time to find the route we had left, which was more an imaginary . 
line than a beaten road, we struct out in a northwesterly course, 
determining to keep this till we should find some brook, by follow- 
ing which we should probably come upon a Mongol encamp- 
ment. After ascending many knobs and crossing the interven- 
ing valleys without finding any signs of water, we came upon 
the top of a large hill, from which the Cossack called our attention 
to some objects on another summit which he pronounced to be 
sheep. We thought that we could see them move, and were so 
sure of the neighborhood of the Mongols that we instantly set 
out for the spot. On reaching the eminence we found to our 
great surprise that there were no animals, and that we had been 
misled by an optical illusion; a few small stones, not a quarter 
as large as a sheep, had been distorted by an atmospheric effect. 
After the result of this deviation we determined to adhere 
strictly to a northwest course. The sun was already sinking 
near the horizon when we reached the top of the next hill ; and 
here an unexpected sight met us. The rays of the setting sun 
were brilliantly reflected from the gilded vanes and balls which 
decorated the roof of a temple about a quarter of a mile dis- 
tant. It lay in a broad g'rassy valley, the slopes of which were 
so regular and gentle that it was impossible to tell where the 
meadow ended and hill-side began. A narrow brook mean- 
dered through the meadow, and toward this thousands of sheep 
and camels, horses and cows, were wandering over the grassy 

Around the temple there were a few houses of brick, and a 
small village of tents. Toward these we directed our course. 


The inhabitants infoi-med us that the caravan ronte crossed, the 
creek half a mile further north, and thither we turned our steps. 
It was nearly dark before we reached the place, but we could dis- 
tinguish the outlines of a large enclosure surrounding some build- 
ings, and the loud barking of dogs served as a guide. Fighting 
our way into the court through an army of savage curs, we found 
that our pack-train had arrived there, and that we were in Borot- 
sedji. This was a large establishment for the collecting of wool 
and hides. The nights were still cold, and the Jcangs or beds 
were heated. I believe I have not yet given a description of these 
peculiar Chinese couches. At the end of the room there is a 
raised platform, about two feet high and eight or ten feet wid e, 
with a length equal to the breadth o f the room. The whole is 
constructed of bricks, and has underne ath it a large fire-place, 
with h orizontal flues extending everywhere immediate ly under 
t he surface. The top is covered with a coarse hard matting o f 
split bamboo, and forms the bed of as many people as can be un- 
co mlortably packed upon it. Every traveller carries his own 
bedding, unless he wishes to sleep without any. Now, the kang 
at Borotsedji, although unusually large, presented no more area 
than was needed by the Mongols and Chinamen, and when we 
added our party of six we were packed rather more closely than 
was comfortable. The top of the kang was hot, and as we made 
up our beds the head of the house added to the fire a liberal sup- 
ply of dry dung. During the night the heat which collected un- 
der the blankets was unbearable ; and from a dream, in which I 
had imagined myself being roasted alive, I awoke to find myself 
being really stewed. My clothes and blankets were drenched 
with perspiration, Avhile the eflluvia which steamed off from some 
ten or fifteen bed-fellows, to whom bathing was unknown, rendered 
the air insupportable. N"ot less suggestive was the incessant 
scratching, by which my neighbors kept up a constant fight in 
their sleep with the countless denizens of their sheep-skin clothing. 
The next morning we ascended the grassy valley of a small 
tributary qf Narin Gol. This small stream, rising at the very 
edge of the plateau, flows northeast by TJvtai, and turning to the 
south descends from the table-land at Teutai, and passing through 
the gorge at Chang-kia-kau joins the Yajig-ho. 
. The country in this part of the route is everywhere cut into 

320 ACS0S8 AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap, xxiii. 

by valleys, vai-ying in depth fi-om one hundred to several hundred 
feet. The hill-tops thus formed are flat, and in the same plane — 
that of the original surface of the plateau — excepting when the 
erosion has isolated small hills, in which case the present knobs 
are lower than the general plane. Throughout this region the 
valleys consist of large and small oval depressions, connected by 
narrow ravines, and containing either small lakes, or meadows 
occupying the fiUed-up beds of foniier ponds. The whole surface 
of hill and valley is clothed with grass. 

This part of the table-land, from the southei-n escarpment 
northward, consists of an immense development of beds of vol- 
canic rock, of basaltic and trachytic varieties, which forms a belt 
of irregular width, of at least a hundred and fifty miles in length, 
and defines the southern edge of the plateau. After ascending 
for ten or fifteen miles the valley of the Nai-in Gol, through a 
succession of meadows, we reached the summit of a ridge which 
terminated in the southwest in a distant peak. Several miles to 
the south I could distinguish a long line of towers, which marked 
the position of the great wall. 

Continuing westward through a series of meadows, connected 
by the smallest possible brook, we came upon the banks of a little 
lake which was covered with thousands of ducks. There was, 
however, no cover, and before we could get within range the 
whole flock had taken the alarm. 

The valley here turned to the north, and as our object was to 
keep the general westerly course, we crossed a hill and continued 
toward the setting sun. The country dropping off rapidly to the 
west, we found ourselves almost before we were aware at the 
entrance of a very narrow and winding defile, in which we de- 
scended rapidly. Two or three miles of this down-hill work 
brought us suddenly out upon a terrace, beneath which there 
was spread out before us a broad valley, the fields and villages 
of which showed us that we had unawares left Mongolia and had 
ei tered China. The whole aspect of the! country below us was 
different from that which we had left. Behind us was an un- 
broken mantle of green, while the region before us was a mass 
of yellow sand, which was carried by the wind in columns and 
clouds across the surface. The prospect was certainly uninviting. 
We had started for a journey among the Tartars of the table- 


land, and here, almost at the outset, our course had brought us 
into the valleys of China. 

Continuing the descent, we came through dusty roads and 
clouds of drifting sand to Tau-li-chuen, a village built of sun- 
burnt brick, where we passed the night. Here occurred the only 
instance of dishonesty that happened to me in northern China. 
While the animals were being packed in the morning we had all 
left the inn for a few minutes, and on returning had missed a 
bag containing all the silver we had brought for the journey. 
This.was too serious a loss to pass unnoticed, and we instantly 
began a search into every nook and corner of the inn. Not a 
box or barrel escaped, no room or chest, even in the women's 
quarters, was too sacred. The fear of having an end put to our 
journey overcame all scruples of modesty, and amid torrents of 
abuse, such as only a Chinese woman is mistress of, we turned 
men and women out of bed to examine mattrasses. Finally the 
missing treasure was found, hidden behind some barrels. Noth- 
ing but the rapidity with which we had conducted the search, 
and the fact that the stolen property was really found in the inn, 
prevented us from being mobbed by the crowd, Avhich the landlord 
had collected. 

My experience in China, especially in the north, did not corrob- 
orate the accepted ideas concerning the dishonesty of the Chinese. 
In this connection I might as well relate an incident which hap- 
pened in Peking. Walking one day on the banks of the large 
ponds of gold-fish, which cover many acres in the Chinese city, 
I called a ragged boy, the only person in sight, and giving him a 
Chinese bank-note, of the value of about two dollars and a half, 
told him to buy two cents worth of bread for me to thi-ow to the 
fishes, and to bring back the change. The nearest houses were 
an eighth of a mile distant, and as the boy made his way toward 
these, the two gentlemen who were with me, and who had long 
been residents in China, laughingly assured me that I had seen 
the last of the money. Not unwilling to back my faith in the 
boy's honesty, I accepted a wager from each of my companions 
and awaited the result. The boy belonged evidently to thc^ 
lowest class, and knew perfectly well that we could not recog- 
nize him among a hundred thousand like him in the city. More- 
over the amount was to him what fifty dollars would be to one of 

322 ACBOSS AMEBW-A AND ASIA. [chap, xxiii 

the saine class in "New York or London ; and yet he returned 
with his hands full of bread, and bringing the change. 

In bur journey of the day before wehad made a little too much 
southing ; on leaving the village we rode' northwest across the 
fields toward the distant escarpment of the plateau. The far- 
mers were planting, and plows and harrows of primitive forms 
were at work in the fields ; among other implements I noticed a 
machine, something in the shape of a wheelbarrow, to which was 
attached a hopper, and which was intended for sowing grain in 
drills. Over the surface of one of the fields which we crossed were 
scattered small heaps of material which proved to be a mixture 
of manure and earth containing beans; by planting portions of 
this in holes a great economy of manure is effected. 

Finding a trail leading northward we followed it into the low 
and rugged hills, which form the outliers of the plateau, till it 
entered a ravine, by which we gained the summit of the table- 
land. For a distance of a few miles we tried to kfeep near the 
edge of the highland, but finding it broken by deep and impas- 
sable chasms we were obliged to turn northward. 

Here also we saw how sharp is the boundary Which the escarp- 
ment draws between the two races. The yellow sandy fieldsof 
the' Chinese come to the very foot of the precipice, while at the 
top the grassy plains furnish pasture for the fiocks of the Mongol 
to the very edge. The Chinese in the valley were ignorant of 
the Mongol names, of places on the plateau, and even of their 
existence ; while the nearest Tartars seemed never to have heard 
of Tau-li-chuen. Upon the plateau we frequently came into the 
broad tracks of caravan routes, but being ignorant of their des- 
tination we generally avoided them, laying out a course of our 
own. In doing this it was necessary to keep a kind of dead 
reckoning, which I did by using a dioptric compass for bearings, 
arid by timeing the regular gait of my horse for distances. The 
results of these observations being transferred to a Mercator 
basis supplied us with a daily knowledge of our position. 

Supposing that we should now have little trouble in remaining 
upon the plateau, we followed the general westerly direction of 
our jom-ney. For a few miles our route lay over the level grassy 
plains characteristic of this part of the table-land. The decom- 
posing volcanic rock here furnishes Sustenance to an exceedingly 


ricli growth of grass, which in the early summer reaches the 
height of several feet. Before noon it was clear that the country 
to the west of us was rapidly descending, and we soon came to 
the brow of a declivity from which we saw spread out heneatli 
us a broad rolling region dotted with Chinese villages, and culti- 
vated to the foot of the descent upon which we stood. 

Here again the view was obscured by the clouds of dust which 
in the cultivated portions of northern China are constantly 
raised by the prevailing westerly winds, before the crops have 
reached a height sufficient to protect the surface. The country 
which we had passed through during the morning was appa- 
rently used neither by Chinese nor Mongols ; to the former, like 
every other part of the plateau, it was forbidden ground ; and to 
the Mongolian herdsmen, the close proximity to the Chinese dogs 
rendered it probably rather dangerous grazing country. 

The escarpment of the plateau, here several hundred feet high 
above the cultivated country, stretched away to the north as i'ar 
as the eye could see. Much as I wished to remain upon the 
plains of Tartary, I did not dare risk the delays which might 
shorten our journey westward by making a detour of indefinite 
length to the northward. 

Regretfully casting, for aught we knew, a last look at the 
grassy plains, we descended once more to the dusty fields of China. 

The immense mantle of volcanic rock which, spread out with 
an irregular thickness, varying from hundreds to thousands of 
feet, forms the southern part of the table-land, has here disap- 
peared ; and these depressions, into which we seemed forced to 
descend, represent the surface of the granitic and schistose rocks 
which form the foundation of the volcanic formation. 

These depressions are bays of the valley system of the Tang-ho, 
and in them are the head-waters of tributaries of that stream. 

Since the erosion of the volcanic mantle this whole valley sys- 
, tem has been occupied by a'wide-spread chain of lakes, in which 
were precipitated the thick deposits of sand and loam which con- 
stitute the terrace formation already mentioned. 

The surface of these lakes seems nowhere to have risen within 
several hundred feet of the top of the plateau. 

Following the Chinese road, we came toward evening into the 
valley of a stream, and to the small tillage of Murh-kwo-chino'. 

324 ACROSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. xxm. 

It was the first place we had seen without an inn, and we had 
much dLfficulty in finding quarters for the night. 

After applying in vain at several places, we came to the most 
respectahle-looking farm-house, where we were also refused ad- 
mission. There being no other way, we determined to take 

The farm-house was surrounded by a large enclosure, with a 
gate-house having several rooms, and in one of these we estab- 
lished ourselves. Then came the efibrts to dislodge us. First 
appeared the master of the house, who politely informed us that 
he had nothing for us to eat, nothing for our horses, that the 
room was occupied by others, and that his family were on the 
verge of starvation. His well-rounded person and smooth face 
added no force to this protest. Then came, successively, a num- 
ber of men, who all protested and entreated, and finally departed 
with threats to rouse the population of the village against us. 

Things began to look serious ; but the worst was to come. 
The shrill tones of a tjoop of women were lieard crossing the 
court. Headed by the lady of the house, they burst into the 
room and filled it not only with their persons but with' invec- 
tives. My experience on the Yangtz' river had taught me that 
the hardest attack to resist Avould be a troop of Chinese viragos. 

As our best and only ally in the fight with the soldiers at 
Chang-sha had been the wife of our skipper — the woman who 
had turned the day in our favor — I now concluded that as We 
could not fight women we should have to give up our quarters, 
unless we could make the women fight for us. 

" Leave this house ! " they said. " You are impertinent, red- 
haired foreign devils ! " " You turtles' eggs ! " " You cross 
between a drake and a toad ! " " What right have you to come 
into people's houses when you are not wanted ? " 

It was certainly not easy to answer invocations made with so 
much earnestness. Opening our bag of silver, I rolled out the 
large, rough lumps of the metal, and, displaying them, said to 
her who seemed to be the mistress : 

" Madam, we wish to take nothing by force. We want little, 
will pay liberally for what we get, and leave in the morning." 

The sight of the money evidently had a soothing effect, and 
removed us from the suspicion of being lawless characters. The 


old Avoman then iu a softer toiie informed us that the room wo 
were in belonged to her son, Avho Avas an " unfortunate." 

" "What is the matter with him ?" I asked. 

The answer was given by a by-stander, who informed us that 
the young man was an idiot, who spent all his time in wan- 
dering about the country gathering pieces of stones. I involun- 
tarily shoved the geological specimens which I had collected that 
day under a blanket, to hide what might seem to the good people; 
rather strong evidence of mental aberration on my own part. 

Pointing to the doctor I said to the mother : " My good woman, 
this gentleman is a physician, and may be able to help your son." 

The effect was immediate, the old woman bounded from the 
house, and soon returned, followed by a young man, a hopeless 

The doctor told the mother that it was a case beyond his power, 
and that he could do nothing. He patted the unfortunate gently 
on the forehead, and from that moment the poor fellow insisted 
upon staying near his new acquaintance, every minute motioning 
to the doctor to put his hand again upon his head. This gentle 
treatment won the heart of the mother, and through her of every 
one in the house ; our horses were stabled, and a bountiful sup- 
per soon appeared. The next morning we found ourselves be- 
sieged by all the suffering population of the surrounding country. 

The quiet farm-house seemed suddenly transformed into a tem- 
porary hospital for every form of disease. The patients were accom- 
panied by friends, and in the tenderness and sympathy shown by 
these I read a phase of the Chinese character for which for- 
eigners have never given credit to this phlegmatic race. The doctor 
did what he could, by confining himself chiefly to diseases of the 
eye, for which he had brought remedies. 

The people of the house showed their gratitude by steadily re- 
fusing pay, while others brought offerings in the form of oats or 
hay, which they forced us to accept. 

As soon as we could get away we turned our steps northwest- 
ward, and soon came into a broken country, where small isolated 
hills of volcanic rock seemed to indicate the neighborhood of the 
plateau. Ascending • an eminence, I could distinguish the long 
straight line by which the table-land was defined against the" sky, 
while a few miles to the northeast there lay three small lakes. 

326 ACROSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap, xxiii. 

Toward these -we continued our journey; they proved to be the 
Gurban-noor — three lakes, now merely three ponds, surrounded 
by broad margins of clay, covered with a glistening efflorescence 
of soda. Hei-e was a small Mongol encampment, at which we 
triedinvain to get a guide. The people, fearing the Chinese offi- 
cials, steadily refused even to give us any information. Follow- 
ing a narrow trail running westward we rose to the surface of 
the plateau, and immediately descended into a shallow valley, 
formed by a series of circular plains, which were formerly lakes, 
but which were now rich meadows connected by a winding brook. 

Riding along the little stream, we came before sunset upon 
Mongols driving their herds of sheep and cows, and further on, to 
the encampment of Hoyurtolo-gol. 

Dismounting at the best looking yurt, and leaving my 
whip outside, in accordance with the custom of the country, 
1 entered the dwelling, in which were a middle-aged woman, and 
a girl of about seventeen. To the former I gave immediately an 
empty bottle, and to the latter a red scarf, and our good reception 
was insured; the old woman was very good-natured, and the 
daughter was the most graceful, and I might say the most beau- 
tiful woman I had seen since leaving Japan. This girl showed a 
modest ease and grace in exercising the duties of hospitality 
which astonished me, as she had certainly never before seen a for- 

These Mongol yurts are circular, generally about fourteen feet 
in diameter, with a jDortable trellis-frame wall about four feet 
high. From the top of this frame springs the roof, in the form of 
a dome ; the whole is covei-ed with thick felt, leaving a circular 
opening at the top, through which the smoke escapes. The en- 
trance is a small square opening, protected by a heavy curtain ; 
and the only furniture is generally a chest, with a small Buddist 
shrine, and a ritual in Thibetan if one of the sons be a Lama. The 
ground is covered with felt mats, and the bedding, generally of 
sheep skins, is stowed away around the circumference. In the 
centre of the dwelling a small tripod supports the cauldron, 
which is the only cooking utensil. 

From the frame work of the tent hang pieces of dried meat, 
and the few other articles of food. Perhaps it was the beauty of 
our young hostess which inspired us with confidence in the clean- 


liness of the place ; but in this we were sadly deceived, for on leav- 
ing the next morning we felt that we had carried away with us 
some of the super-abundant inhabitants which infest alike the 
dwellings of Mongols and of the poorer Chinese. 

Leaving this hospitable encampment we followed the brook in 
its southwesterly course. 

On either side and before us were everywhere the same flat- 
topped hills of the table-land, but they are here only the rem- 
nants of a volcanic mantle, insignificant in thickness, compared 
with that further east. The valleys here have everywhere cvit 
through this covering and into the sub-structure of schistose rocks. 

It was now only the seventeenth of April, and yet the whole 
country was clothed in the full beauty of spring ; while from 
higher points we could see far away to the south the mountains 
of Shan-si covered with snow ; around us the flat-topped hills, their 
sides and the broad meadows between them forming an unbroken 
carpet of green, were mottled with the flowers of early spring. 

Scattered over the country, herds of cows and sheep, horses 
and camels, were lazily grazing, while the Mongolian herdsmen, 
too heavily dressed in skins to walk, lounged listlessly in their 
saddles, or spurred their horses across the plain to meet and won- 
der at our cavalcade. The valley led us through a narrow defile 
between walls of chloritic granite, and out of this into another bay, 
from which the drainage finds an exit through the Si-ho into the 
Tang liver. Soon after leaving the gorge the road crosses a lava- 
stream one or two thousand feet broad, and from sixty to eighty 
feet thick, through which the rivulet has cut its way. This rock 
has a beautiful columnar structure, and appears to have flowed 
down from a neighboring mountain, which has all the appearance 
of a half-destroyed crater. 

The eruption must have been subsequent to the erosion of this 
part of the plateau. It was the only instance in which I observed 
traces of true volcanic action, more recent than that to which the 
volcanic formation of southern Mongolia owes its origin. Near 
this point there is a large Chinese cattle-ranche, at which we 

After a long ride through a rocky country we came, toward 
sunset and in the midst of a drenching thunder-storm, to the 
Mongol encampment at Chaganoussu. 

328 ACliOSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap, xxiii. 

Applying for admission at the principal tent, we were peremp- 
torily refused by the old woman, the wife of the chief. 

We learned that the men of the place were mostly away on mili- 
tary duty, and that the women were frightened at the arrival of our 
strange party. The doctor and I entered the tent with the hope 
of conciliating the chieftainess by means of presents, but it was 
useless ; she stormed, and insisted upon our leaving, and went so 
far as to strike the doctor in the face. 

This act so exasperated my Russian friend that he involun- 
tarily drew his revolver, at which the old woman gave a howl and 
bounded out of the tent. Fearing that ' there would be trouble, 
we formed our party in the open space among the yurts. We 
had not long to wait ; in a few minutes the woman re-appeared, 
leading a motley crowd of Chinese and Mongols, armed with 
sickles and clubs, whom she inspirited with wild gesticulations 
and loud cries. 

There was something half ludicrous and half serious in the ap- 
pearance of this novel force, as it rushed down hill toward us, 
headed by an enraged woman, whose robes and dishevelled hair 
were streaming in the wind ; and the effect was heightened by 
the loud peals of thunder and bright flashes of lightning which 
broke at once the silence and the coming darkness of night. 

The enemy came on and surrounded us bravely enough, until 
they perceived that instead of being frightened and fleeing we 
quietly stood our ground and only laughed at them, and that 
moreover Ave wore revolvers in our belts. 

Being somewhat cooled in their ardor they formed a large 
circle around us, evidently needing stronger inspiration before 
beginning an attack. The old woman danced with rage, calling 
us and her followers all sorts of bad names, but all to no pur- 
pose ; Ave continued to walk quietly up and down, smoking our 
pipes, and the attacking force maintained its distance. This state 
of things might have lasted all night had not the arrival of a Lama, 
Avho Avas the son of the woman, brought us an ally. Understanding 
Chinese he soon learned the position of affairs, and pacified his 
mother sufficiently to gain for us the right of using the tent. The 
volunteers Avere disbanded, and the only bad result of the battle 
AA-as a thorough drenching all round. 

Chaganoussu, like most of the lakes of Mongolia, has no outlet. 


Filling the large depressions of valleys, these small bodies ol 
water receive the drainage of the surrounding country. At some 
former time, when the precipitation of moisture was probably 
greater, the valleys contained streams which formed the outlets 
of the lakes into tributaries of the larger rivers ; but now the 
rain-fall is hardly equal to the evaporation,, which keeps the water- 
level below the point of outlet. 

Leaving this lake we passed the dry bed of another, the Hoy- 
urnoor, and before noon came to a gorge which leads into the 
valley of the Kir-noor. Before descending we climbed to the top 
of a neighboring hill to get a view of the country. We were 
here again on the edge of an escarpment of the plateau. Before 
us lay a valley seven or eight miles wide, running nearly north 
and south, lying many hundred feet below us, and nearly sur- 
I'ounded on all sides by the almost vertical wall of the plateau. 

It is a broad plain, sloping gently from all sides toward the 
centre, and covered, excepting near the middle, with a heavy 
growth of waving grass. We could see no water ; but near the 
centre a large area of glistening white efflorescence reflected the 
noon rays of the sun with dazzling brilliancy. 

Descending from our lookout we reached the plain, and soon 
came to the Mongol village of Hoyurbaishin, consisting of houses 
built in the Chinese manner ; they were the first of the kind we 
had seen among this people. In return for the hospitable recep- 
tion we received here, the doctor exercised his knowledge of 
photography in taking the portraits of the inhabitants. The 
most patient as well as most delighted sitter was the wife of our 
host, who made up for her lack of beauty by the gay color of her 
silk dress, and by tbe amount of silver ornaments braided into 
her hair. 

Seen from the plain, the face of the enclosing plateau escai'p- 
ment is ' everywhere marked by parallel, horizontal lines, which 
are continuous on the same level around the headlands and val- 
leys of the wall, and are reproduced on the sides of a hill which 
rises from the plain ; they are visible to the naked eye at a dis- 
tance of ten or twelve miles, defined where the ascent is gentle by 
masses of lai-ge and small fragments of rock, and on the steeper 
declivities by a slight variation in the angle of slope. 

They undoubtedly mark former levels of the lake surface, and 

330 ACROSS AMERICA ANH ASIA. [chap, xxiii 

tlie higher ones probably belong to a time when the great chain 
of ancient lakes existed through north ern China on a scaIe~s"econd 
only to that of tSe^ orth American Take s. ~ 

The only trees' which we saw after leaving Chaug-kia-kau 
were two about twenty feet high growing in the rocks at the foot 
of the plateau wall. The greater part of the plain is covered 
with grass, supporting large herds of sheep; but, as we ap- 
proached the recent lake-bed, the surface was cut up by dry and 
shallow water-courses, with only tufts of grass, between which 
the ground is bare and cracked. The present lake is a mere pond, 
bordered by a large area covered with 'an efflorescence of soda. 
It is said to be drying up ; and the Mongols assert that its waters 
have flowed into the Te-Hai further west — an apparently un- 
founded belief, as there is no surface communication between the 
two lakeSj and the natives on the shore of the Te-Hai were not 
aware of any increase in its volume. Still it is evident that the 
waters of the Kir-noor are rapidly disappearing; and the cause, 
whether temporary, or a constantly operating change in the cli- 
mate, has been acting at least for several years. 

Among the lakes we have already noticed, the Chaganoussu is 
also disappearing, and the adjoining Hoyur-noor has for several 
years only been represented by its dry bed. 

Crossing the plain we forded a small stream of fresh water, and, 
passing through a marshy tract, approached the western wall of 
the valley. Here leaving the plain to ascend to the plateau, we 
passed a deep and gloomy gorge, cut through the table-land to 
its very foundation. This chasm seems to connect the valley of 
the Kir-noor with that of the Karaoussu, a tributary of the 
Tourgen-gol, which flows into the Yellow river. After a gradual 
ascent of one or two hours we came again among the flat-topped 
hills and shallow valleys of the, plateau, through which we wound 
for several miles. Quite unexpectedly we came upon the brow 
of a precipice, overlooking a broad circular valley several hundred 
feet beneath us, presenting an unbroken surface of grass, covered 
with thousands of grazing animals. In the distance the gilded 
vanes and balls of a Lama temple reflected the rays of the set- 
ting sun, and gave the place the appearance of an enchanted 
valley. The sun had set before we found a practicable route for 
descent through a long and narrow gorge. 


The hills rising in the valley are of gneiss, overloaded with 
garnets. It was night when we reached the Lamassery. This i* 
one of the many temples and small monasteries which are scat- 
tered through the valleys of Mongolia, subordinate to the few 
larger ones which are the seats of living Buddas. 

They form the centres of pilgrimage for the immediate neigh- 
borhood, and are the schools in which the young Lamas get the 
elements of their religious education. They are well patronized, 
as it is the custom for almost every family to set apart in early 
childhood one of its sons for the priesthood. 

This was the last of the Mongol settlements, for the next morn- 
ing, after rising to the surface of the plateau, we found ourselves 
among cultivated fields, and soon came into a Chinese village. 
The fame of the doctor had already reached this place, and while 
we were at dinner the court of the inn was tilled with people 
wishing to be cured by the magician from over the sea. Evi- 
dently there was no lack of faith to helf) the action of medicine. 
They were chiefly troubled by diseases of the eye, and we were 
surprised to see the fortitude with which men and boys bore the 
application of caustic agents to that sensitive organ. 

We had gone but a short distance when we were overtaken by 
several of the patients bringing bags of oats, which they pressed 
upon the doctor in return for the services he had rendered. 

During the afternoon we suddenly found ourselves again upon 
an escarpment of the plateau, and overlooking a broad plain sunk a 
thousand feet or more beneath us. About . twelve miles broad 
and eighteen or twenty miles long, it is almost entirely surrounded 
by the lofty wall of the plateau, fi-om the foot of which its sur- 
face everywhere slopes gently toward a beautiful lake covering 
several square miles in the centre. 

' This valley is in great part cultivated, and the young crops 
had already covered it with a green carpet. The end nearest us 
was divided into large farms, containing groups of buildings of a 
superior class, surrounded by enclosures. 

A long and tedious descent brought us to the plain, and we 
then found that the buildings we had seen were, at least in part, 
Chinese Buddist monasteries. We were now in the valley of the 
Te-Hai, or Daikha-noor. 

The next morning we made a detour to visit the lake, and 

332 ACROSS AMEBIOA AND ASIA Lchap. xxiii. 

found its waters salt, but not Ibitter ; it is surrounded by a broad 
margin covered mtb efflorescence of soda. 

Along the northern edge of the valley arises a lofty mountain 
ridge, of which the barren peaks tower high above the table-land. 

On the south, perched upon the highest points of the plateau, 
there are ancient and crumbling watch-towers, commanding a 
view of the whole plain, and from which signals could be made 
to the long line of towers of the great wall. They are silent 
monuments of a time when the shores of these lakes were the homes 
of an aggressive race, ever threatening a descent into the fertile 
regions of China. 

In the southwest the valley is apparently open, or divided only 
by a very low water-shed from the plains of the Yellow river. 

I have shown in another place * that this opening was proba- 
bly the connecting channel between the large lake which occu- 
pied the valley of the Upper Yellow river and the chain of inland 
waters which filled the valley system of the Yang-ho and the 

It was here that we first heard of the Mohammedan rebellion, 
which, after spreading through Kashgar and Yarkand, and 
through the western and northwestern provinces of China, had 
now approached to within two days' journey of the Te-Hai. 
This state of things rendered it useless for me to think of carry- 
ing out my journey to the Tien-shan, and I decided to return 
immediately to Peking. 

Leaving the lake, we turned our steps toward the southeastern 
part of the valley, where a deep gorge cleft through the plateau 
forms the only place of exit to the east. This was another con- 
necting link between the ancient lakes, and at a later period formed 
an outlet by which the waters of the Te-Hai drained into the San- 
kang-ho ; but now, the evaporation being in excess of the rainfall, 
the level has sunk below the bottom of the gorge. This defile is 
cut through the whole thickness of the volcanic formation, of 
which the black walls rise nearly a thousand feet on either side, 
while at the bottom they are seen resting on upturned strata of 
granulite impregnated with garnets. 

At. Ma-an-miau the valley opens to form the broad swampy 
plain of Fung-ching. Here the high plateau Avail leaves the road ; 

* " Geological Eeaeavchea in China, Mongolia, and Japaii." Smithsonian Institution, 1866. 


the part which formed the southern side of tlie gorge trends away 
to the south-southwest, till the steep face of the level outline of 
its edge is lost in the distance ; the northern wall of the gorge 
continues a few miles further, and then before reaching Fung-ching 
bears away to the northeast ; but we have not yet reached the 
southern limit of the volcanic formation. At a level of perhaps 
a thousand feet below the surface of the higher table-land there 
begins a lower plateau, the flat surl'ace of which is two hundred 
or- three hundred feet above the surface of the valley, and spreads 
southward from the foot of the escarpment of the higher. Con- 
sisting of the same volcanic formation as the higher table-land, it 
was without doubt once the continuation of the latter, the differ- 
ence of level being due to the occurrence of an immense " fault." 

Toward evening the gray walls of the large town of Fung- 
ching appeared above the plain, reminding us that we had re- 
entered China. In the midst of a drenching rain we passed the 
ruined gate, and traversed in darkness the narrow and muddy 
streets of the city. In vain we applied at inn after inn ; none 
would receive us. In spite of the storm a large rabble of men and 
boys collected around us, growing more and more insolent after 
every failure on our part to find a resting-place. Tired and ex- 
asperated, we determined to proceed to the ya-mun and demand 
assistance from the magistrate. After being several times misled, 
through the malice of pretended guides, we arrived at the court 
of justice, followed by an unwelcome retinue of a thousand or more 
vagabonds. Theoretically every magistrate in the empire, and 
even the Emperor himself, is obliged to give immediate audience 
to any one who may sound the great gong before the ya-mun or the 
palace, but at the present day few Chinamen would be foolish 
enough to expect an answer to such a summons. 

Knowing that any intimation to the magistrate of the presence 
of foreigners would be placing him on a bed of thorns till he~ 
knew that we were housed, and beyond the possibility of involun- 
tarily creating a mob, which might cause him the loss of his place, 
we proceeded to take the most effectual means of making him 
aware of our presence. Riding up to the greaf gong I seized the 
beater, and with vigorous strokes sent reverberating thrbugh the 
night air, through court and hall, such peals of barbarous tones, 
as should rouse his wo-rship, even though he were deep in the 

33i AVBOSS AMEBIOA AND ASIA. [chap, xxih 

sleep of opium. Immediately the great gate swung open, and the 
wire-capped executioners and retainers of the ya-mun hurried 
out to learn who was so daring as to intrude so summarily into 
the precincts of justice. 

I demanded instant audience of the magistrate, and in a few 
minutes a secretary appeared, saying that his master was too ill 
to be seen. 

Giving him our passports and telling him of our trouble, I de- 
manded quarters for the night. This produced the desired result ; 
the magistrate dispatched several bailiffs, who led the way to one 
of the inns at which we had been refused admission, and, this 
time we had no trouble in obtaining the best rooms in the place. 

Upon enquiry I found that the aversion to foreigners had ori- 
ginated in the bad conduct of two who had preceded us. 

Fuug-ching lies upon the head waters of the San-kang-ho. The 
highly cultivated valley is cut up by rows of willow trees,' raised 
for charcoal ; and the water of the creek is carried along canals to 
turn the wheels of mills. After descending the stream for a 
few miles we rose to the surface of the lower plateau, and came 
again under the shadow of the great wall of China. Even in its 
ruins this great structure impresses one deeply, both by its extent 
■and its antiquity, as well as by the scenes it has passed through, 
and the long struggles it has witnessed, perhaps at this very point, 
between the barbarism of the north and the refinement of the 

Climbing one of the ruined towers I had a wide view, extend- 
ing ovei' the fertile valley of Fung-ching, and across the broad 
and partially cultivated surface of the lower plateau. Six or 
seven miles to the north arose the lofty escarpment of the table- 
land, stretching like a vertical wall far away to the northeast 
and southwest, and indented with all the sinuosities of a coast 
line._ In the southeast and east the high peaks of the serrated 
barrier range bounded the horizon, while the great wall could 
•be seen trending away east and west, a line of crumbling towers 
and falling masonry, climbing steep declivities, winding along 
crooked edges of precipices, or striking in. a straight line across 
the cultivated plains. 

A ride of a few miles in an easterly course brought us to the 
eastern edge of the lower plateau. Descending this we bade fare- 


well to the table-lands of central Asia and entered the sandy and 
partially cultivated plain of K-\^an-tung-pu. In this quiet village 
of farmers we found comfortable quarters among people who 
were eager to show hospitality, and content to gratify their sim- 
ple curiosity without subjecting us to the annoyance and insults 
to which the foreigner is always liable in large towns. Every - 
wher e in China I found the country people civil and kindly dis - 
posed, contrasting strongly in this respect with the rabble in I 

The plain of Kwan-tung-pu is occupied by a heavy deposit of 
loam, thrown down in the ancient lakes ; in this deposit a tribu- 
tary of the San-kang-ho has cut out its course to tlie depth of one 
hundred ^et or more. From the valley thus fonned, deep and 
narrow ravines extend on either side, the result of retrograding 
erosion. One of these chasms, more than seventy-five feet high, 
with a width of only four feet, between vertical walls of loam, 
was seen winding in a crooked course for more than a mile up the 
slope of the plain. 

As we approached the high range of mountains which border 
the plain on the south we came to the ancient fortress of Chung- 
hwang-kau, one of the gates of the gi-eat wall, which here climbs 
the range to wind eastward along its crest. Immediately after 
passing the gate we entered a deep gorge, by which the mountain 
is here cleft to its base, and through which -we travelled seven 
miles between walls of metamorphic schists. This narrow chasm 
formed another connecting channel in the chain of ancient lakes, 
and in places its sides still show remnants of the loam deposit. 

Leaving this gorge we entered the valley of the Yang-ho, and 
soon reached the walled town of Yang-kan. Before entering the 
gate a large crowd had begun to follow us, and by the time we 
reached the court-yard of the inn we found it occupied by several 
thousand people, who, taking time by the forelock, had rushed 
thither to secure a good view of the " red-haired devils " of the 
" Western Ocean." While we were eating, the room was crowded 
with all that could get in, and the paper windows were perforated 
with innumerable finger-holes, through each one of which an in- 
quisitive eye was visible. 

Those in our room annoyed us by feeling our clothes, and hair, 
and beards, or trying on our hats and shoes, which they kindly 

336 AOBOSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap, xxiii. 

passed outside to undergo the inspection and trial of too many- 
swarming heads and dirty feet. 

Those outside contented themselves with struggling for a place 
at the door or window, or cracking jokes at our expense, which 
kept the crowd apparently in good humor. Before sunset we 
succeeded in clearing the room, and as the crowd resented this 
we ordered our Cossack escort to clear the court-yard, but with- 
out the use of arms. The people, taken by surprise, retreated be- 
yond the gate, which we instantly barred and nailed. Our late 
visitors, now transformed into a mob, furiously demanded admis- 
sion, threatening to kill the foreign devils and the landlord. 

Taking turns at guarding the gate, we threatened to shoot any 
one who should attempt to open it from the inside before we 
were ready to leave the next morning. Before daylight we let 
out our pack-train and re-fastened the gate ; but we had not 
finished breakfast when a noisy mob had assembled in large force, 
and was trying to push a very small boy through the opening 
under the door, to undo the fastenings. 

Hardly had the boy got well under when I pounced upon him 
and drew him in, carrying him in spite of kicks and screams to 
the kitchen, where I ordered the landlord to give him a good 
breakfast. The mob shouted that the boy was being killed, and 
the shrill tones of a woman's voice were soon heard demanding 
vengeance. When we had finished breakfast we unfastened the 
gate and rode out, though not without receiving a greeting of 
stones, sticks, and mud in quick succession ; but we came off with- 
out further injury than some bruises. 

During the whole of this day our route lay across the plains of 
the Yang-ho. To the north the plain, rising rapidly, abuts upon 
the flank of the high range of the mountains along which winds 
the great wall ; while to the south, over a low range of hills, we 
could distinguish the snowy domes of the high mountains of 

Leaving the valley and ascending to the surface of a broad 
plateau of the loam deposit of the ancient lakes, we slept at the 
village of Ta-kiau. 

On the following day we found this plateau like the plain of 
Kwan-tung, cut up in every direction by deejD and narrow ravines 
with vertical walls ; some of these, of very recent origin, had ex- 


tended across the roads, compelling us to make considerable de 

In places the wagon-road, following the course of such a ravine, ' 
is sunk from fifty to a hundred feet below the surface of the coun- 
try, between vertical walls which barely leave room for one cart. 

Stopping for the night at Hwai-ngan (hien), we continued our 
journey the next day through a long narrow valley, passing the 
deserted towm of Kiu-hwai-ngan. 

The walls of this place were crumbling, and the enclosed area 
was under cultivation. 

It is no uncommon occurrence in China to find a town deserted, 
and a new one built a few miles off, bearing the same name, with 
the prefix Mu or old. 

Following the little creek we reached a point where the walls 
of the valley approached each other to form a short and .narrow 
gorge, which opened beyond into the valley of the Yang-ho. 

There is here a broad sandy plain with little cultivation. Dur- 
ing the afternoon a violent wind raised the fine sand in clouds, 
which rendered it almost impossible to find our way, and it was 
not till night had fallen that we entered the streets of Chang-kia- 
kau (Ivalgan). 

Wishing to visit the Roman Catholic mission of Si-wan, we 
passed again beyond the great wall, and ascended the narrow 
valley of a creek. For eiglit or ten miles our road lay between 
the steep walls and castellated cliffs of the porphyry mountains 
of Kalgan, and beyond these, between pyramidal and grass-cov- 
ered hills of chloritic slates. Everywhere the hill-sides carried 
terraces of the loam of the ancient lakes ; and as we approached 
Si-wan the valley widened, and the terraces, assuming larger pro- 
portions, formed cliffs of loam rising almost vertically from two 
hundred to three hundred feet above the creek. 

We received a hospitable welcome at Si-wan from the kind- 
hearted missionary, who seemed well pleased to meet travellers 
of his own race. Containing almost solely a population of Chi- 
nese Christians, Si-wan is one of the many monuments of the zeal 
of the Catholic missionaries, who are scattered not only through 
China but in every part of the Pagan world. 

Situated some distance from the seat of the magistrate, this 
small colony attracts but little attention and persecution. Their 

338 ACBOSS AMEBIGA AND ASIA. [chap. xxm. 

internal troubles are adjusted by the priest, whose influence 
rarely clashes with that of the civil authorities, and is then, I 
believe, generally exerted for good. 

Few new con verts are made in any p art of China, the native 
Christians being generally, like the few thousand souls around 
this mission, the descendants of the proselytes of the seventeenth 
■ century. 

The mission is neatly built, and the church tastefully deco- 
rated.- Most of the dwellings of thfe people are excavated in the 
loam deposit, each house having several rooms, divided by walls 
of loam left standing, and finished with cement. They are neat 
and comfortable, and liave the merit of being warm in winter and 
cool in summer. The rows of doorways and windows, cut in the 
face of the cliif, reminded me of the pictures of cities in Arabia 

At Si-wan I found a man Avhose name figures in one of the 
favorite books of my boyhood, and whom I had certainly never 
expected to see ; this was no less a person than Samdad Chiemba, 
the Lama cameleer of Abbe Hue, and the companion of that in- 
trepid missionary in his long and dangerous journey through 
Tartary and Thibet. He was no longer the wayward boy over 
whose caprices the readers of Hue's charming narrative have often 

I engaged him as a guide over the rough mountains to the 
south. To avoid the long detour by way of Kalgan, we struck 
due south, over the high mountains between Si-wan and the 
Yang-ho. On one of these ranges we crossed again the great 
wall, here defended on the north side by three parallel ditches, 
which may be the remains of local earthworks, thrown up during 
some ancient engagement. Descending into the valley of Chau- 
chuer,, we passed several villages excavated in the face of loam 
terraces, and, on the following day, reached the Yang-ho at Ki- 
ming, and thence, following the route by which we had come, 
after an absence of six weeks, we re-entered Peking. 



From time immemorial the Emperor of China has claimed to 
be the Son of Heaven, and, as such, the sovereign of the race. 
He recognized no equals, and he could he approached by the 
representatives of other countries only when they came as tribute- 
bearei-s and as suppliants. 

The free intercourse which was formerly permitted to "Western 
countries was abandoned when the rapid advance of European 
arms in Asia exposed both the designs and the strength of Spain, 
England, Portugal, and Holland. The Chinese Government, fear- 
ful for its own independence, adopted an exclusive policy ; and 
restricting foreign commerce to the narrowest of limits in the 
part of the empire most distant from the capital, ignored the 
foreigner except as a trader seeking gain. That which is known 
as the Opium "War of 1840 added largely to the field open to 
foreign commerce ; but, as it did nothing toward establishing 
diplomatic intercourse with the Central Government, it merely 
rendered more active the policy of retaliation, by increasing the 
points of contact with a people among whom,not only the cause 
but, the manner of conducting this unjust war had raised a deep 
hatred of the foreigner. This would ultimately have led to an- 
nexation of parts at least of China by European powers, had not 
the events at Canton in 1856-1858 caused the British and Frencli 
to carry the war into the neighborhood of the capital. This war 
led to results which mark a new era, not only in the history of 
the relations of China to the outer world, but also in the history 
of Chinese civilization. It may not be amiss to recall briefly the 
events which led to such a consummation. 

The concessions which had been obtained from the Chinese by 
the treaties of 1842, 1843, 1844, and 1845, consisted chiefly in 
opening to trade the ports of Amoy, Foo-chow, Ningpo, and 

* This chapter appeared in the North American Eeview, April, 1S68. 

340 ACBOSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap, xxit 

Shanghai, besides Canton, and in the recognition of consuls 
established there ; in the transfer of the island of Hong Kong 
to England, and an indemnification of $21,000,000 for the opium 
destroyed by order of the Emperor, and for the expenses of 
the war. In addition to these, the subjects of the treaty powers 
obtained the right to travel within certain limits, and to lease real 
estate at the open ports, and at these points the toleration of 
Christianity was assured. 

These privileges obtained by force were to a great extent 
counterbalanced by the hostility shown by the Chinese, and the 
relations of the two races became daily more and more complicated. 

Soon after the close of the Crimean war England turned her 
attention to the accumulating difficulties in China. The immedi- 
ate cause of the war which soon followed was in itself a good 
illustration of the intercourse between the proudest and most 
powerful nations of the West and East. In October of 1856 the 
native aixthorities at Canton seized a Chinese boat manned by the 
natives, engaged in smuggling under the protection of a British 
flag. This act was considered by foreigners to be an outrage, and 
the Britisli consul demanded instant satisfaction. Governor-Gen- 
eral Yeh having refused to give an explanation, the British squad- 
ron bombarded Canton for three days, destroying the Government 
buildings. France, and for a short time even the United States, 
through the frigate Portsmouth, joined England in the aggressive. 

Preparations for war were begun on both sides, but the Eng- 
lish forces destined for China were diverted to aid in suppressing 
the rebellion in India. After eight months of suspense, inter- 
rupted only by occasional aggressive acts on both sides. Lord 
Elgin arrived at Hong Kong, and Canton was declared to be in 
a state of siege. On the 12th of September, 1857, the declaration 
of war against England by China put an end to the hopes that 
the Emperor would disavow the acts of Yeh. In the middle of 
December the allied British and French forces occupied an island 
opposite Canton, and bombarded the city) and, after taking its 
defences by storm, finally took possession of Canton on the 5th 
of January, 1858. Yeh was sent to Calcutta, where he died a 

* In this resume of events, down to the taking of Canton, we have followed the authoj 
of the article China " In " The New American Cyclopedia." 


After the taking of Canton the allied British and French for- 
ces turned toward Peking, as being the only point at which the 
Central Government of China was vulnerable. Arriving at the 
mouth of the Pei-ho, and receiving no answer to an ultimatum 
sent to the capital, the Allies took the forts, and advanced up 
the rive r to Tien-tsin, about ninety miles from Peking . This 
action resulted in the appointment of Chinese plenipotentiaries, 
and the conclusion of treaties, in immediate succession, with 
Russia, the United States, England, and France — creating four 
new ports, throwin g open the Yangtz'-Kiang to foreign trade , 
recognizing ministers accredited to the Court of Peking, tolerat- 
ing Christianity and protecting Christian missionaries, permitting 
foreigners to travel in the interior, and indemnifying England 
and France for the expenses of the war. Such a sudden change 
in the traditional policy of the great empire seemed the begin- 
ning of a new era for Asia, and a fit subject for the first dispatch 
through the Atlantic cable. 

But a murderous fire was opened upon the English and French 
at Taku in June, 1859, while attempting to force their way to 
Tien-tsin in order to efiect at the capitalthe exchange of the 
treaties which the Emperor wished to have consummated at Peh- 
tang on the coast. This appeared to be a disavowal of the en- 
gagements entered into the preceding year. Whatever may 
have been the moving spirit with the Imperial Government ya. this 
afiair, it led to serious consequences, which, though humiliating 
to the Government, have been undoubtedly beneficial to the coun- 
try. The American minister, conforming to the wish of the 
Chinese that he should visit Peking by way of Peh-tang, was 
conducted to the capital. Although he there met with a friendly 
reception, he was obliged to return to Peh-tang to effect the ex- 
change of the treaties. This step made clear the determination of 
the Government neither to make nor exchange treaties under the 
■walls of the capital, and more especially to prohibit all direct 
communication with the Central Government. There is no doubt 
that the same would have been the case with the other ministers, 
had they avoided the mouth of the Pei-ho, and gone overland 
from the neighboring village of Peh-tang. But the anti- foreign 
party was so powerful at Peking, that it is doubtful whether the 
ratifications would not have been the beginning of serious 

312 A0E0S8 AMEBIC A AND ASIA. [chap. xxiv. 

troubles ; indeed, the treaties were avowedly granted in order to 
gain time for preparation to resent the force used in obtaining 

The English and French ministers withdrew to Shanghai, and 
the court of Peking refusing an apology, their Governments, decid- 
ing to obtain it by force, made preparations for war on a scale 
which should be decisive. 

An ultimatum, demanding, first, an apology for the attack on 
the allied forces at the Pei-ho ; second, the ratification and execu- 
tion of the treaty of Tien-tsin ; and third, the payment of an in- 
demnity for the expenses of the naval and military preparations ; 
was rejected by the Emperor. 

In the summer of 1860 the allied forces, accompanied by the 
Earl of Elgin and Baron Gros, captured the forts on the Pei-ho 
and advanced to Tien-tsin, of which they took possession, and 
thence to near Tung-chau, a city twelve miles from Peking. Dur- 
ing these proceedings the anti-foreign party ruled the weak Em- 
peror; and when negotiations seemed about to be satisfactorily 
concluded, the Chinese, by an act of treachery, tried to cut off 
the forces, and seized Mr. Parkes and several other persons, who 
were returning under a fiag of truce from an interview with the 
imperial plenipotentiaries. All negotiations were now stopped, 
and, as the prisoners were not given up, it was decided to punish 
such a flagrant breach of faith. Peking was invested, and Yuen- 
ming-yucn, the summer palace, a few miles west of the city, was 
destroyed. In the meantime the Emperor Hien-fung had fled to 
Tartary, a step which aided much the political revolution that 
threw the reins of government into the hands of his brother, 
Prince Kung. 

Prince Kung, although very young, exhibited considerable tact 
and ability ; while the fact that with his first appearance began a 
new policy gave to him a position with the foreign ministers that 
would not easily have attached to names better known to them. 

Those of the prisoners who had not died under the hoi-rible 
treatment they experienced were given up. A gate of the city 
was surrendered, and the articles of the Tien-tsin convention were 
signed, embodying the demands of the ultimatum, the opening of 
the port of Tien-tsin, and the permanent establishment of the min- 
isters at Peking. 


The war was over; the anti-foreign party was thrown into the 
. background, and for the first time the field was open for the action 
of wise diplomacy in bringing China into the circle of interdepend- 
ent nations. The manner in which this short and decisive war 
was conducted tended far more than is generally known to facili- 
tate the attainment of this object. When the use of force was 
first decided upon, the British minister, Sir Frederick Bruce, who 
had succeeded his brother, Lord Elgin, turned his eiforts toward 
relieving the people from any participation in the sufierings of 
war, and aiming the blow solely at the Government. During the 
presence of the troops in the North, their behavior inspired the 
inhabitants with such confidence that no difiiculty was experienced 
in obtaining supplies, which were scrupulously paid for. After 
the taking of Tientsin its population remained confidently at their 
occupations, and the native committee that had been organized to 
supply the Chinese army undertook to do the same for the allied 
forces. Indeed, during the journeys of the writer in the North, 
he met several wealthy dealers who spoke earnestly of the good 
times when the foreign troops ofiered a profitable market for their 
products. By refraining from a bombardment of Peking, and de- 
stroying instead the widely celebrated summer palace, a blow 
was struck which humbled the Emperor without the loss of a 
single innocent life, and without injury to private property. The 
eifect of this humane course, so directly opposite to the Chinese 
method of warfare, and indeed to the previous action of foreign 
armies in the East, was immediately apparent in the treatment 
which the inhabitants of Peking and its environs extended without 
exception to unprotected foreigners. And at present there are 
fe w countries in the world where one can trav el with more safety 
than in northern Ch ina. ^Z"— ^ / ■^^4 

If the attitude of the people during this war exhibited an in- 
difference to the most important political questions, and to the 
interests of the Government, it showed not less a great degree of 
independence among themselves, as well as an absence of unfriend- 
liness to Europeans, and proved that our efforts toward the im- 
provement of our relations with China must be directed as well 
toward them as toward the Government. 

The great advantages gained by the treaties, and by the war 
that insured their validity, were the permanent residence of for- 

344: ACROSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap, xxtv 

eign ministers at Peking, the opening of the Yangtz', tlie right of 
travel in the interior for business or pleasure, and, indirectly, the 
extension of the foreign customs system. To appreciate the full 
value of these results, it will be necessary to glance at the posi- 
tion held by foreigners before the war. 

Confined to a few ports, and treating only with the local offi- 
cials, they were practically ignored by the Central Government. 
Having no intercourse with the latter, and treated as barbarian 
traders by the provincial authorities, such a thing as legal redress 
for injuries was out of the question. Gunboats ready to act on 
the orders of consuls, or even without them, were at every port, 
and no time was lost in using force on the slightest provocation. 
The different provinces were treated as so many independent na- 
tions, and war was waged at one port while trade was continued 
uninterruptedly at others. In all these troubles, the Central Gov- 
ernment shifted the responsibility to the shoulders of the provin- 
cial authorities — a policy the efiect of which became yearly more 
evident in the arbitrary action of foreign consuls, and in the inso- 
lent weakness of the native officials. 

Such a system could not exist without leading to terrible abuse 
of power by the stronger side, and establishing dangerous prece- 
dents, which could be used by either party whenever a favorable 
opportunity offered ; and, worse yet, it formed a school in which ' 
foreign officials, merchants, and their clerks, shipmasters, and 
sailors, learned to exercise with impunity the law of might, and 
to hold the rights, property, and lives of Chinamen as of no value. 
Wholesale murder was committed almost daily at the ports, 
where it was a common occurrence for steamers and sailing 
vessels to run into and sink dilatory boats and junks, often 
crowded with passengers. Young clerks drove rapidly through 
crowded streets, without stopping to care for the women and 
children run over by their carriages, and men of position made 
their way through thronged thoroughfares by belaboring the 
heads of the populace with heavy walking-sticks. Such acts 
were the more cowardly because of the timid and peaceful char- 
acter of the natives, and the fact that the removal of foreigners 
from Chinese jurisdiction to the dead law of the consular courts 
almost insured impunity for every kind of crime. Hatred of 
the foreigner caused by this state of things, spread through all 


the provinces that were in close communication with the open 

That such an intercourse must have led to frequent and costly 
wars, and ultimately to a disintegration of China, and its absorp- 
tion by European powers, can hardly be doubted; and this dan- 
ger would have been multiplied with the opening of every new 
port, and with the increasing influx of lawless adventurers at- 
tracted by the rebellion. 

But the establishment of direct intercourse between the foreign 
ministers and the Imperial Government — an intercourse based on 
a revolution in the policy of the latter — substituted diplomacy for 
force, and, by causing disputed questions to be referred by both 
sides to Pekin, reduced the powers alike of consuls and of vice- 
roys to their legitimate limits. 

Arriving at Pekin at a time when the Imperial Government was 
reduced to its greatest straits by the rebellion, the ministers were 
able to give direct proofs of the sincerity of their professions of 
friendship and good-will, and immeasurable progress was rapidly 
made in breaking down the barrier of prejudice that had grown 
up between the two races. But although the just action of the 
representatives of western powers was soon appreciated at Peking, 
and was generally met in a similar spirit by Prince Kung and 
the Board of Foreign AiFairs, obstacles to harmonious action 
were not wanting on both sides at the treaty ports. In many 
instances both the consular and the provincial authorities were 
men who had been educated in the school of the past, and, with 
them, the traditional method of settling disputes by force was at 
times resorted to. Too often irregularities committed, now by 
the foreigner, now by the natives, caused troubles which were 
not referred to Peking till the use of force had made diplomatic 
action almost impossible. Unfortunately, too, the disregard 
shown at times by consuls for the treaties, furnished the Govern- 
ment with a ready answer Avhen its viceroys were charged with 
disobedience to instructions sent from the capital. 

The control of their respective subordinates was easier to the 
embassadors than to Prince Kung and the Ministers for Foreign 
Affairs. The Central Government, possessing in theory almost 
unlimited power, was practically fettered in its action by the 
coiTupt policy of selling its offices, or of paying nominal salaries 

346 ACBOSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. xxiv. 

and allowing the officials to enricli themselves at the expense of 
the people and of the revenue— a practice which could not fail 
to produce endless troubles, by affecting trade adversely, now 
to the spirit, now to the letter of the treaty. 

The anti-foreign party was not, and perhaps is not yet, wholly 
crushed; and though apparently daily losing ground before 
the increasing confidence in western governments, and before 
the rapidly growing revenue brought into the imperial treasury 
by foreign trade, and by the honest administration of the foreign 
custom officers, it necessarily impeded the action of the Prince 
and his advisers. And even when, after the death of Ilienfung, 
Prince Kung became Regent during the minority of the young 
Emperor, the fact that he soon might be held to answer with his 
head for the administration of the Regency, prevented the use of 
extreme measures towai-d dilatory provincial authorities. 

Thus in 1863 an accumulation of unsettled disputes with the dif- 
ferent treaty powers, arising out of persistent disregard of the trear 
ties at the ports and in the interior, threatened to produce a rup- 
ture, and to undo by a new war what had been already accom- 
plished. Fortunately, the West was represented at Peking by 
men of just and liberal views, free from the prejudice of national- 
ity and race, who were unwilling to risk, by precipitate action, 
the future welfare of one-third, of mankind and the interests of 
the world. At this time, when war seemed imminent, and when, 
considering the gigantic pi'oportions of the Taiping and Moham - 
medan rebellions, a war might have indirectly overthrown the 
ruling dynasty, and resulted in long-continued anarchy, the for- 
eign ministers framed a co-operative policy, the basis of a moral, 
warfare. This policy, which was endorsed by the respective 
home governments, marks a new era in the history of the rela- 
tions of the West and the East, and will surely be not less impor- 
tant in its results to us than to that immense nation with whom 
the nineteenth century is rapidly bringing us into a contact preg- 
nant with much good or much evil. Originating in the necessity 
for united action on the part of foreign governments to obtain 
the observance of the treaties, it binds the ministers to consult 
together and act in concert on all material questions: thus bring- 
ing to bear the moral pressure of the whole western world in 
support of the just demands of each power. 


As experience has shown that the source of the greatest dangers 
in the future lies in the Aveakness of the Central Government , as 
against its provincial officials, the co-operative policy binds the 
foreign powers to use every peaceful means of strengthening 
the former, both by encouragement and by moral pressure. 
One of the first steps in this direction was the guarantying the 
integrity of China proper, so far as concerned foreign nations, b y 
t heir agreement neither to demand nor to accept concessions o f 
territory from the Chinese Governmen t. To strengthen the Gov- 
ernment within, and to raise China to a military position commen- 
surate with the rank she should hold in the world, the ministers 
agreed to encourage a thorough reorganization of her army, to 
assist her in adopting European discipline and arms, and to fur- 
nish the officers necessary to introduce these changes. The next 
and equally important step was, to insure the maintenance of an 
honest and efficient administration of the foreign customs service, 
as a means of insuring the revenue necessary to centralized 
strength. While observing a general neutrality in face of the 
internal war, the policy called for such defensive action at the 
treaty ports as might be necessary to maintain treaty rights. 

Each of the treaties of 1858 contained a clause permitting th e 
subjects of the respective governments to acquii-e land for build- 
in g-sites at the open ports. For greater convenience the co nsuls 
of the different treaty powers chose a considerable area for subdi- 
yision among their countryme n. T hese tracts soon came to be 
re garded as concessions of territory, forming no longer parts of 
the Cliinese empire. The security to life and property at the 
open ports soon attracted thousands of Chinese families flying 
from their homes before the scourge of the Taiping rebellion ; 
and thus the foreign settlements, intended by the spirit of the 
tre aties to furnish homes and places of business to foreign~mer-" 
c hants, became cities containing vast numbers of n atives,~who 
rented dwellings from foreign speculators. At Shanghai, the 
area under the control of foreigners, a nd more or less occupied 
b y them, covers nearly ten square miles, and is rapidly fillin g up 
with houses. In 1863 the population of this area was nearly one 
million. T he exterritoriality clause, which transfer red jurisdiction 
over foreign ers ill all civil and c riminal cases to their ^sj^ctive 
consuls, would have been easily extended so as to cover the 


A0B0B8 AMEBIC A AND ASIA. [chap. xxit. 

native population, had the idea that the foreign settlements were 
"concessions of territory been sustained . The first result would 
have been, that the most flourishing cities of the empire, cities 
rivalling the largest in the world, would have sprung up on these 
concessions, concentrating Chinese capital, skill, and enterprise 
at points beyond the control of the legitimate government. 
After a few years there would have been British, French, and 
American cities on the coast and in the heart of China, according 
to the predominance of the nationalities at the different ports ; or 
they would have become free cities, like those of the Hanseatic 
Leao-ue. The immediate interests of speculators — and almost 
every foreigner -speculated — was to have this concession principle 
carried out, although unauthorized by the treaties ; and, in the 
weak condition of the Government, the action of the foreign^ au- 
thorities, and the necessity of a municipal organization, were rap- 
idly rendering it an accomplished fact. But the principle was too 
unjust ; it was sure to lead to serious complications among foreign 
powers and with the Chinese Government, and was also sure to 
increase the weakness of the Central Government. In face of a 
strong opposition from their countrymen, the foreign plenipoten - 
tiaries at Peking agreed neither to ask nor to accept concessions 
of territory. 

One of the difficult questions in our intercourse with Oriental 
nations is that of the jurisdiction over the foreigners, especially 
in mixed cases. I n the treaties with China, as in those with a ll 
Ori ental countries, the exterritoriality clause confers authority on 
consuTFin all legal cases over their respective countrymen . 'The 
systems of Oriental laws and punishments differ so widely from 
those of western nations, and there is such general corruption in 
their adminigtratiqn,^ thatjt would be out of the question to pla ce 
the lives and property of Europeans under their control. Still some 
other system than the present is imperatively^emand ed ; for t tte 
tendency of the p resent method is to impair seriously th e power 
of the native authorit ies over their own subjects, and t he increa s- 
ing amou nt of crime committed by foreigners is g rowing beyon d 
the prop er limits of consular courts. 

It is evidently an outrage upon the spirit of international law 
that a Chinaman or a Japanese should suffer death for a crime 
against a foreigner, where for the same acts the latter would be 


punished -with a fine or a short imprisonment. This is a question 
which will solve itself before long; for China has only the alter- 
native of gradual reorganization and progress in the track of the 
civilizatio n with which she is coming every day moi'c and more 
in contact, or of retrogression and disintegration . She can no 
longer remain stationary. There is great vitality in the people ; 
but, unles s it become active in them and in the Gov ernment, 
we stern fntercourse will be to China a deadly evil. But there 
are weighty reasons for believing that the vitality of this people 
will carry the nation onward through the stages of reform that 
are needed to effect a transition to a higher political condition, 
and this reform would involve great changes for the better in 
many branches of its polity. 

The Burgevine imbroglio * proved the danger that might at- 
tach to the employment of foreigners in the Chinese army, at the 
same time that the force organized by "Ward and Burgevine de- 
raonsti-ated the possibility of making brave and efficient soldiers 
qTChi namen, when acting under proper office rs and paid regularly. 
The foreign ministers urged strongly upon the Government the 
necessity of beginning a radical change in the army, by providing 
bodies of native soldiers with foreign weapons, and having them 
disciplined by foreign drill-sergeants, and already considerable 
progress has been made in this direction. Before any nation can 
make itself respected by others, it must be in a position to enforce 
internal order, and to maintain its rights against all comers. The 
present army of China is wholly unable to do either of these things, 
and is merely a gigantic drain on the resources of the country, a 
scourge to the inhabitants, and a source of official corruption. 
Favored as the empire is by its geographical position, a small 
standing army disciplined and armed after the manner of western 
troops would be sufficient for any emergency, and would remove 
the consciousness of weakness — one of the greatest obstacles to 
general improvement. 

* A few years since, an American, named Ward, acting under a commission from the 
Imperial Government, disciplined a force of Cliinamen to act against the rebels. Tlie un- 
daunted bravery of their commander inspired these troops with a courage that carried 
everything before them, and their success won for them the name of " The Ever- Victorious 
Braves." After the death of Ward, from a wound in the head, received while leading his 
men through a bmach in the wall of a rebel city, the command was given to Burgevine, one 
of Ward's bravest officers. This gentleman, after receiving a serious wound, was made the 
■victim of intrigues on the part both of Chinese and foreign officials ; and finding it impossi- 
ble to obtain satisfaction for his just demands, very lll-advisedly deserted to the rebel cause. 
Had Bnrgevine's Injury not Impaired his energy, this step would certainly have prolonged 
the rebellion, and might perhaps have led to the overthrow of the Manchu djTias^. 

350 ACROSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. xxrv. 

But the most im portant and most active innovation is the for- 
eign customs organization, which collects the duties on all foreign 
e xports and imports. Originating, in 1854, in the appointment 
- at Shanghai, at the request of the local officials, of three inspeot- 
oi ;s chosen by the consuls of the three treaty powers, the un- 
expected increa se of the customs revenue attracted the attention 
o f the officers of other provinces, and led to the ultimate exten - 
sion of the system to every open port. From being a foreign 
governmental aid to the Chinese, it has become an arm of the 
C hinese Government, and as much a national institution as the 
customs department in any western country. At each port 
there is a commissioner, having under his orders the necessary 
number of clerks, tidewaiters, etc., of different nationalities. 
Over all these is an inspector-general, appointed by the Board of 
Foreign Affairs, Avith which he corresponds, and through which 
he reports to the Board of Revenue. The Government has been 
fortunate in choosing for its inspector-generals men of great abil- 
ity and well acquainted with the language and customs of the 
country; and the present incumbent, Mr. Robert Hart, is evi- 
dently alive to the importance of the institution as a means of 
improving every department of Chinese administration. 

Every effort is made not only to maintain thorough honesty in 
the service , b ut to at tract to it young men of , high intellectua l 
capacity, and to this end extremely liberal salarie s ai-e paid. 
T he employes are now taken from among the best grad uates of 
t he English and America n universities, the former after a severe 
competitive examination . After studymg th e language l or two 
years at Peking, with a salary of £400, t hey enter active service 
as clerks, with salaries increasing with promotion Iro m £600 to 
£1,200; and when advanced to the rank of commissioners, of 
whom there are thirt een, they receive, according ' to the port, 
j£l,200 to £2,000. — — 

It is hoped that in t ime the necessity for employing foreigners 
_w i^[L disappear, and that the administratioa will pass gradually into 
jhe jiands of efficient native officials. The Government fully ap- 
preciates tlie advantages of theTiistitution. Indeed, it could 
scarcely be otherwise, considering the great increase in the reve- 
nue derived from foreign trade. A ccording to Mr. Hart, they 
arc also gradually learning the importance of paying salaries 


large enough to ra ise officials above th e necessity of being dis - 
honest ; and they are realizing, too, the advantages of depart- 
inentai division of labor, as compared with'the long-es tablished 
practice of unitin g in one offi cial t he most varied duties — a prac- 
tice t hat renders any chec k on fraud impossible . If the success 
ful "working of the customs organization should lead to reform 
in these two particulars (and there is much reason for believing 
that it will), the greatest barrier in the way of improvement in 
other respects will then be removed, and the road to judicial 
reform will be open. 

Among the great changes that remain to be accomplished, the 
most neede d are such as would aifect the finances of the empire ; 
for by insuring a proper collection and application of the revenu e, 
the provincial authorities would be made dependent upon the 
Central Government, instead of the reverse as at present, and th e. 
largest source of official corruption would be removed. The 
accomp lishment of these changes, and those connected with the 
ju dicial organization, is a question rather of reform than of rev o- 
lution . They could be brought about without the overthrow of 
the existing religious or social organizations, and without any 
change in the established theory of government. 

Such reforms must be the fruit of the grafting of western 
ideas on the Chinese stock, and their growth must necessarily be 
slow. They can flourish only under the patient forbearance of 
more powerful nations, whose duty and true interest it is to en- 
courage, and not repress. 

Until ten years ago the decrees issued from the imperial throne 
taught the people to look upon all foreign nations as barbarian 
tribute-bearers, and as trembling siibjects of the mercy or wrath 
of the " Son of Heave n." Now this language has disappea red : , 
the decrees published in the gazette and sent through the empire 
speak in becoming terms of Europeans, and generally give to for- 
eign e mployes the credit they deserve . Kecognizing no equals, 
and nominally merely tolerating the presence of foreigners, the 
Government always insisted that in all our intercourse with it we 
should assume the attitude of suppliants. This stumbling-block 
vanished after the last war ; and in 1863, acting readily on the ad- 
vice of Mr. Burlingame, they employed the American missionary. 
Dr. W. P. Martin, to translate " Wheaton's International Law." 

352 ACROSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. xxiv. 

Some of the best scholars in the empire were associated with Dr. 
Martin as assistants ; and Tung, perhaps the loading scholar of 
China, a member of the Board of Foreign Affairs, gave constant 
attention and the finishing touches to this great work, which was 
published early in 1865. 

That the Government does not look upon this as a mere piece 
of fancy-work is proved by the fact that coi:)ies are sent to officials 
in all parts of the empire, especially on the coast, as also by the 
following circumstance : During the late war between Prussia 
and Denmark, the Prussian fleet in Chinese waters seized two 
Danish vessels. One of these was captured while at anchor 
within three miles of the shore ; in the other instance, the Prussian, 
while anchored within the three-mile limit, sent its boats to cap- 
ture the Danish vessel outside these bounds. The translation of 
Wheaton was not yet published ; but its principles seem to have 
become familiar to some of the high officials, for the Government 
instantly demanded the release of the vessels, on the ground that 
their capture was an infdngement upon the neutrality of the Em- 
peror. Much to the astonishment of the Prussian minister, the 
Government quoted in support of its posi ti on decisions exactly 
covering the cases, and which had been rendered against England, 
by English law officers, during the war with Am eiica. 

The establishment by Government of a school in which foreign 
languages and other subjects are taught is another step forward ; 
for from this school are to be taken interpreters and secretaries 
for envoys to the West, and for officials at the treaty ports.* 

In looking over the history of affairs at Peking during the last 
six or seven years one hardly knows which most to admire, the 
iinexpectedly high degree of intelligence and statesmanship of 
some of the leading officials, or the wise diplomacy of the foreign 
embassadors in turning these to account. But the same history 
exposes the weak points of Chinese administration, and the ex- 
istence of a public opinion tbat demands to be consulted. For 
oxample, when Mr. Lay, having, by authority from the Govern- 
ment, organized a flotilla, entered into an agreement with the 
commander, Captain Osborne, that he should act only under or- 
ders from Peking, he transcended not only the limits of his own 

* This Bchool has lately been enlarged in its plan, and is now called the University of 
Peking. Its president is one of the highest and most learned of the Chinese ministers, 
.vhile an able corps of professors from the West has been attached to it. 


power, but likewise those of the Central Government. It may be 
well to review briefly this transaction, which threatened to lead 
to disagreeable results. 

The increase of piracy and smuggling along the coast and on 
the rivers called for action on the part of the Government, unless 
it were willing to have the police duty of the Chinese waters ex- 
ercised by foreign men-of-war. The Board of Foreign Aifairs, 
therefore, authorized Mr. H. N". Lay, the Inspector-General of the 
Chinese Maritime Customs, to contract for the building in Eng- 
land of a flotilla of gunboats, which should form a portion of the 
naval force of the empire, and be officered and in part manned by 
Englishmen. A fine fleet of eight steamers was accordingly built 
and sent out to China, and the command, with the rank of admiral, 
given to Captain Sherard Osborne, one of the best officers of the 
British navy. 

The agreement between Lay and Osborne contained a pledge 
to the latter that he should be responsible only to the Central 
Government at Peking, at the same time binding him to act upon 
no orders, even from the Emperor, unless they had first received 
the sanction of Lay. This agreement the Government refused to 
recognize, not only because it had no wish to put supreme power 
into the hands of its chief of the customs service, but also because 
the theory and practice of Government in China required that the 
authority over the navy should be vested in the viceroys of the 
provinces in which its services might be needed. Thereupon 
Captain Osborne, declining to be placed in subjection to provincial 
ofiicials, resigned his position ; Mr. Lay was dismissed fi-om ser- 
vice ; and the vessels were sent back to England, where they were 
sold on account of the Imperial Government. 

Thus was this costly and much-needed squadron lost to China, 
not simply because Mr. Lay had assumed to make himself the 
arbitrating medium through which the admiral should receive the 
imperial orders, but quite as much because of the fear of the Re- 
gency to assume a responsibility which by custom belonged to 
the provincial authorities. 

How much greater the powers of the Emperor may be than 

those of the Regency, which will end when the Emperor decides 

to take the reins into his ov/n hands, is a difficult question ; but 

the strong language of censors in memorials to the throne reveals 


354 AOBOSS AMEBICA AND ASIA. [chap. xxiv. 

the existence of checks on the imperial will that have their origin 
in public opinion, whether this be the sentiment of the people 
generally, as is n^ost likely, or of the large class of literati, or 
simply of the great body of officials. 

The existence of such a powerful public influence should ad. 
monish us that the field of our labor is not confined to Peking and 
the Government alone. Great as is the advance already made, 
we have on our part to show the people throughout the empire 
that a treaty is not a mere concession obtained by force, and bind- 
ing only the conquered. 

How easily public oj)inion concerning us is formed was well 
shown in the province of Hunan in 1862. An English gunboat 
at Hankan burned a junk which was conveying soldiers to Nan- 
king. The soldiers had brutally assaulted an Englishman, and 
with a precipitation in keeping with the old retaliation policy the 
junk was burned. But the vessel was j)rivate projierty, having 
been impressed in Hunan by the braves; and its destruction, 
instead of being a punishment of the offenders, incensed the whole 
population of eastern Hunan. Knowing no difierence among 
foreigners, the inhabitants of that province visited on the heads 
of the Catholic missionaries the offence of the English gunboat, 
destroying the missions, and barely allowing the priests to escape 
alive. So strong was the hatred to^yard the foreigner-^— a feeling 
first communicated along the great transit route from Cant on, and 
increased by this blind act of retaliation — that in 1863 the writer 
found it impossible to penetrate to southern Hunan with safety. 

In strong contrast to this stands the treatment sho wn to for- 1 
eigners through northern China : all who have travelled in tha t| 
p^rt of the empire will bear witness to the frien dliness ofthej 
people . _^^i r'' /Jz/v/ 

It is not enough that the Government at Peking understands 
the whole meaning of the treaties, the privileges and obligations 
mutually conferred and exacted, and that it appreciates the im- 
portance to China of the plans followed and recommended by.-the 
foreign ministers : it is absolutely necessary that this knowledge 
should extend to the whole wide-spread body of officials, and 
further yet to the people at large. The treaties have been pub- 
lished throughout the empire, and the mandarins ordered to 
abide by them ; but it requires time for the officials to learn the 


meaning of such innovations. Then, to o, aside from the weak- 
ness of the Cen tral Government, the local au thorities ha^^e really 
little power over the"piopre. Ai ToiScial would gladly pay a 
considerabl e su'm to any foreigne r to bribe him to avoid the 
limits of his authority, so much do Ihey fear popular diaturb - 
ances, which they are powerless to quell. The authoiity of the 
mandarig is, indeed, in great measure dependent on"the forb ear- 
ance oi tlie peo ple7and is proportionate to higjopularity. I^'ew 
ollici als, even in sTglit of Feking, venture to resort to extrem e 

From these considerations it appears how much the extension 
of our intercourse with this race into fields not yet oj^ened by 
treaties will depend on the manner in which we meet the people , 
or rathe r upon the policy by which western powers shall regu- 
late^the actions of their subjects . In China, the axiom, that th e 
wi ll of the people is the will of Hea ven, and must be observed by 
the Emperor, the Son of Heaven, has during thousands of years 
been accepted as a fundamental principle of governmenta l 
science, and continued disregard of it has always caused tlie 
overthrow of the aggressive dynasty. This axiom is as powerful 
to-day as ever , and it is probable that the Emperor would not 
dare to make a concession antagonistic to the wishes of the peo- 
ple, and there is hardly a concession which we could now ask for 
that would not call forth a widespread opposition. 

The foreign trade of China is as nothing compared with the 
increase which we have a right to hope for ; but this increase 
will require the introduction of steamers throughout the immense 
network of inland waters, the construction of long lines of 
railways and telegraphs, and the devel6pmeht~ of "a gi-eat me- 
chanical indust ry, on the basis of the boundless resources of the 
empi re m coal, iron, raw materials, labor, and capita l. 

We have no right to expect that the dense population of China 
will readily welcome these innovations. The Government canno t 
force th em on the people ; their introduction can only follow a 
' general conviction of the advantages to be derived from tliem. 
From the Government we may ultimately get the right to reside 
in the int'erior, and to treat with its subjects for the purchase of 
property, right of way, etc. ; but even this must be based on the 
strict observance of the treaties bv foreigners. 

356 ACROSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [«hap. xxit. 

There is little doubt that by exercising patience the preju 
dices that arise from ignorance of the principles of political econ- 
omy will be gradually overcome. The Chinese are so essential ly 
practical, and they are from childhood such adepts in the art of 
making commercial combinations, that we may reasonably expect 
a rapid introduction of the great modern instruments of material 
prosperity. The opening of the lower Yangtz' t o foreign steam- 
ers — a step rendered easy by the destruction of native shipping 
by the rebels — is instructing the native capi talists and the peop le 
generally in the advantages of steam transit, and many steame i-s 
a^-e now owned by the former, while native passengers willingl y 
pay higher fares for the privilege of being carried more quickly 
than by junks. 

Many, if not all, of the wealthy Chinese merchants at t he open 
ports appreciate already the advantages to be derived from the 
introduction of modern improvements, and are ready to advance 
capital for that purpose, and the opposition of special interests 
will probably be overcome by driving the wedge gradually; But 
both the people and the Government must first learn that foreign 
ideas and improvements are not intended to overthrow the na- 
tional independence and the imperial authority. 

Thus far nothing has been said concerning the missionary 
problem, for it should not enter into the question of foreign policy. 
The zeal which urges the Catholic enthusiast to seek a martyr's 
crown in the interior is a fruitful source of trouble to France, the 
champion of the Church. As a religious movement, the Chinese 
Government views the missionary enterprise with perfect indiffer- 
ence, but it fears its political bearing s. The authority of the priest 
too often impairs that of the mandarin, though frequently in favor 
of justice. Were there danger of more general proselyting, the 
fear of the extension of priestly power would probably raise an 
active opposition to the missionaries, but at present the labors of 
the^latt er are mostly confined to the small cures that have de - 
scen"aed lrom the past. Few new converts are ma4e beyond tFe 
chiI ^n"saved'lrom death or ibought frompoor \,2iX^^. (^h^$S 

The work of "tEe 'Protestant missionar ies has thus far done 
little toward complicating our relations with China. Confined 
mostly to the immediate neighborhood of the treaty ports, they 
interfere little with the local authorities, and their success is so 


slight, and even so doubtful, that the Government now offei's no 
op position to their teaching . 

in a conversation with Mr. Burlingame, one of the members of 
the Board of Foreign Afiairs thus stated the views of the Gov- 
ernment in regard to religion : " Our sentiments are identical 
with yours, though they are expressed by different signs ; and our 
religious principles are the same as yours, though they are clothed 
'ji different forms : that is to say, what you mean by ' Lord ' we 
call ' Heaven. ' It is not a firmament of stone or vapor that w e 
worship, but the Spirit who dwells in Heaven . In the popular 
idolatry we put no faith whatever, but the Emperor makes use of 
it as an auxiliary power in governing the people. The teachers 
of every creed agree as to the principles of virtue ; any one of these 
systems will suffice to deter men from the perpetration of secret 
crimes, which the law of the land would be powerless to prevent. 

As a proof of our liberality, I may mention that we are 

even now inviting Christian missionaries to become the teachers 
of our children ; and if Christian churches ever produce better citi- 
zens than Buddhist, or Christian schools better scholars than the 
Confucianist, we shall gladly acknowledge their work." 

It is well for China that the western powers have been repre- 
sented at Peking by statesmen who had the wisdom to inaugu- 
rate a new policy of this broad character, and the patience to 
carry it out through all the opposition they encountered. The 
co-operative policy, framed chiefly by Mr. Burlingame and Sir 
Frederick Bruce, with the approval of their colleagues, at the 
same time that it acts as a wholesome check on individual judg- 
ment, insures as far as possible the observance of the treaties by 
all parties ; and while it exerts a strong pressure on the Chinese 
Government, there is just enough diversity in the interests of the 
treaty powers, and enough of national jealousy, to guarantee 
that this pressure shall not be used unjustly. 

Of the ministers who worked hand in hand in inaugurating the 
new policy, none are now in Peking. Sir Frederick Bruce, a true 
friend of America during its troubles, left China to represent his 
country at Washington. His death, last year, came at a time 
when his dispassionate judgment could not well be spared on 
either side of the Atlantic. How deeply interested he felt in the 
welfare of China will appear from the following extract from a 

358 ACMOSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. xxit. 

lettei- addressed by him, a few weeks before his death, to the 
writer of this article : 

"I have lost none of my interest in those countries [China and 
Japan], and sober reflection has only confirmed me in my high 
appreciation of the qualities of the people and of the statesmen 
of China. The great fact remains, that since 1860 they have 
pulled tlirough their foreign difficulties, and have done much to 
improve their internal condition, without impairing their authority 
or their rights. We can claim for the 'co-operative policy,' that 
it contributed largely to that end; that the moderation impressed 
upon foreign ministers, by their agreement to act togethei-, kept 
the individual representatives within bounds ; and that the sup- 
port given to the custom-house system affords the best, and, in- 
deed, the only hope of assimilating pacifically the Chinese ad- 
ministration to the emergencies of western intercourse and 
ideas. I believe that if the policy then sketched out is steadily 
adhered to, and the Chinese are brought to rely on our friendship 
and good faith, w e shall have little cause to complain, ancl the 
march of progress will be soon accelerated. The speed with 
which changes are effected bears some ratio to the size of the 
area where the changes are to be introduced, and to the numbers 
of the nation which it is sought to impress — a truth we are very 
apt to forget." 

M. Berthemy, also an earnest worker in the framing of the 
co-operative policy, now represents his country at Washington. 

Mr. Burlingame, after a short visit home in 1865, returned to 
Peking, where his position as senior member of the diplomatic 
corps, as well as his strong p-ersonal influence, enabled him to 
continue the harmonious action among the more newly-arrived 
ministers, and between them and the Board of Foreign Affairs. 
The brilliant appointment which he has lately received from the 
Chinese Government is an evidence both of the high estimation 
in which he is personally held, and of the successful working of 
the policy of which he was the most active framer. 



It was now the middle of May, and the season was already 
advancing beyond the period of comfortable travelling through 
the Indian ocean and Egypt. This was the route I had chosen, 
after failing to find a companion for a journey through Siberia. 
Taking leave of my many kind friends at Peking, I set out on 
horseback for Tung-chau (fu) on the Pei-Ho. The distance is 
only about twelve miles over the granite causeway that connects 
this port with the capital ; but I lengthened the time of the ride 
by lingering at the bridge of Pa-li-kiao, the site of one of the 
battles of the last war, where the Tartar cavalry with miserable 
weapons made a most desperate resistance against the allied 

At Tung-chau I found my baggage already on board the 
boat, which had been engaged by my temporary companion, a 
young missionary. 

It may not be uninteresting to the reader to have a slight 
sketch of the strange career of this person, whom, though in no 
unfriendly spirit, I must call a i-eligious adventurer. 

While yet a boy, feeling himself called upon to become a 
missionary, he started without any credentials and without having 
been ordained. 

Enlisting as a marine, he went with the United States squadron 
to Japan, and there leaving the service began studying the lan- 
guage. Having no means of support he opened a tailor shop, 
and managed to eke out a subsistence, although, as I know by 
sad experience, he was apt to make one leg of a pair of trousers 
a couple of inches shorter than the other. 

Failing in his attempt to convert the Japanese he became a 
merchant, in which he also failed, owing a large amount, in 
an attempt to overstock the China market with lumber. 

Determined again to become a missionary in a new field, he 
went to Shanghai, and failing here to get a passport for the 
interior proceeded to Peking. 

360 AGBOSiS AMElilOA AND ASIA. [chap. xxv. 

Dui-ing this time he had learned a little Chinese, and had deter- 
mined to preach the gospel in the most inaccessible provinces of 
the west. He had obtained bis passport, and was now on the way 
to Tien-tsin, the starting point of his journey. He complained 
bitterly that he had been snubbed by all the missionaries at Pe- 
king, who had even refused to allow him to pray in their evening 
meetings. During our boat journey, whether asleep or awake, 
lie talked constantly and always in Scriptural quotations, 
whether denouncing the missionaries as " sons of Belial," or 
complaining of his financial losses, or yet calling down ven- 
geance upon the Chinese, if they should hesitate to receive his 
" glad tidings joyfully." 

A monomaniac, he was about to undertake one of the most 
difficult journeys on the globe, entirely alone, and was going un- 
disguised through regions where even the Catholic missionaries 
could hardly penetrate, though perfectly disguised, and always 
surrounded by their converts. I left him at Tien-tsin, after giv- 
ing him my camp outfit, confidently expecting that he would 
never again be heard from. His subsequent career' was remarka- 
ble : starting with a cart-load of Bibles, he travelled across Chih- 
li and Shan-si to the Yellow river. 

Here, coming upon the line of engagement between the Im.- 
perialist troops and the Mohammedan rebels, he was arrested by 
the former, and sent in a boat down the river to the sea-coast. 
ISTot daunted by this rebufi", he started from Canton with another 
load of Bibles, and travelling through the southern provinces of 
China penetrated into the almost inaccessible region of Yun-nan, 
where he barely escaped death in several attacks of banditti. 
The last time that I heard of him he was circulating petitions 
through the United States for the pardon of Jefierson Davis, 
having accomplished his missionary work in China, by having, 
as he characteristically asserted, circulated so many Bibles' in 
every part of China that the inhabitants of that country can 
show, at the Last Day, nogood reason why they should not be 
damned. — ' 

The condition of the Protestant Christian missions in China i s 
CCTtainlyjiot jromising; during nearly half a c entury a con- 
sta^tlyjncreasing^eof zealous men has been actively at work 
at all the_ £enports^Th^y have indeed estaBIi hed sch ools and 


churches, and formed congregations which, in the aggregate., 
may number some thousands of communicants ; they have many 
native preachers, and distribute countless tracts and Bibles 
printed in Chinese : but with all this it is extremely doubtful 
wh ether the number of true conv erts is in any other than an 
insignificant proportion to that of the communicants. These 
remarks are ina^e in no unfriendly spirit toward the earnest 
men who are giving up their lives to a labor which some of them 
at least feel to be almost useless. One of the most zealous of 
these men informed me that during an experience of more than 
twelve years, in which he had been applied to by thousands of 
natives to administer baptism, he had never yet felt suificiently 
convinced of the sincerity of an applicant to perform the cere- 

The reasons for hypocrisy among the natives are numerous. 
In China a population of more than four hundred millions is 
confined to an area about as large as the United States east of 
the Mississippi river, and the population treads so closely upon 
the limits of productivity that widespread famine always follows 
a year in which the production falls below the average. In such 
a country, and especially in its cities, the whole course of life is a 
constant struggle for existence — a struggle in which the need of 
getting daily food drowns all other considerations. It is therefore 
not surprising that thousands should apply for admission to a 
church, when it is well known among the people that its mem- 
bers are not only never allowed to starve, but have also the 
preference over their Pagan brethren in obtaining employment. 
A well-to-do Chinaman who should become a Christian would be 
held in contempt by his countrymen; but among the poorer 
people, the necessities of life form a sufficient excuse for nomin al 
co nversion. 

I think too well of the Chinese, as a people, to consider them 
generally capable of hypocrisy ; but when a native has once de- 
cided upon this course he goes patiently through a long care er 
of dgceit, which is well calculated to hoodwink the missionary. 

B y birth and education a thinker, learning to read his_ own 
language in committing to memory the philosophical writing s, of 
his own sages, the Chinaman finds no diffi culty in u nderstanding^ 
and remembering the doctrines of the Bible, and even the sec- 

362 A0E08S AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. xxv. 

taiian tracts which fall into his hands. After mastering these 
he comes to the missionary, often with a better knowledge of th e 
questions involved in our religion tlian is show n by many conve rts 
at home. What wonder, then, if this Icnowledge is taken for sin- 
cere~belief b y men who are perhaps poorer judges of human n a- 
ture than any other class. For years a native Christian, or even a 
whole congregation, will persevere in a career of successful deceit, 
until some internal dispute brings to light acts of hypocrisy and 
fraud, involving sometimes even the native preachers, and dis- 
heartening the missionary. How many millions of money and how 
many earnestly devoted lives have been thus, misspent. The 
truth is that the Chinese, tho ugh superstitious, have no religion ; 
at least none which stands in any relation to a future existence. 
In eaHy~tinies7~BeTore the density of populatioiThad rendered' 
them a strictly utilitarian people, and before the religious idea had 
become almost entirely extinct, the Buddist missionaries, travel- 
ling from India, like the early spreaders of the Christian faith, with 
scrip and staff, and undergoing every hardship, found little diiE-. 
culty in spreading their humane religion over the whole country. 

A few centuries later, the intrepid Nestorian missionaries pene- 
trated through central Asia into China, and we have the evidence 
of the inscription at Si-ngan (ful that in the sixth century th e 
Christian church had obtained a foothold in many parts of th e 
empire. At present, although the country is full of Buddist tem- 
ples and Buddist monasteries, they hold no other place among 
the Chinese than that of supplying the people with priests to pe r- 
form funeral ceremonies, and to attend to the rites and homes of 
the dead, and to satisfy the wants of an active superstition no 
more connected with relisrion than is fortune-tellinsr. The numer- 
ous monasteries, which are generally richly endowed, also offer 
places for retreat to persons who wish to leave the world. 

Of Christian descendants of the ISTestorian converts, no trace 
was found by the Roman missionaries who entered China during 
the reign of the Ming dynasty, and the converts made by these 
latter do not seem to have perpetuated the new faith beyond the 
circle of their immediate descendants. 

A national religious change must pre-suppose that the supplant- 
ing faith meets some want generally felt among the people. The 
esta^blishment_of any religion p're-supposes a Avell d"e"fined belief 


in a future existence, and a feeling of utter dependence upon a 
Dei ty. That the Chinese hadT something of this religious senti- 
ment in times -which ante-date their written liistory, seems to b e 
shown in their State religion, now sunken into a mere form . But 
the principle which the early philosophers established as the corner- 
stone of government, that the will of the people is the will of 
Heaven, has been carried to its natural consequence — the eleva- 
tion of public welf are to the position of being the highest aim of 
monarclTaiTd" crtize iu The Chinaman has n o God, and having no 
be li^n a sy stem of future rewards and punishments, has no fear 
ot death, and consequently feels none" of those wants which one 
^ niust suppose to exist in a convert to Christiani"^ In this re- 
spect he diiiers from the Japanese and the Polynesian ; the former, 
while strongly imbued with the religious sentiment, has out- 
grown in his intellectual progress the doctrines of a corrupted 
Buddism, while the latter is easily persuaded to exchange th e 
bloody rites of his superstition for the humane doctrines of Chris- 
tianity . 

While Japan offers one of the best fields for proselytizing, China 
is certainly the worst. 

One form of the missionary enterprise — the medical mission — 
has always commanded the respect and gratitude of the Chinese ; 
the names of the excellent doctors, Parker and Lockhart, and 
others, who have spent years in alleviating suffering among the 
natives, are known far and wide in the empire, and will long be 
Remembered for the good they have done. 

When I arrived at Shanghai my friend Mr. Thomas Walsh 
agreed to make the journey homeward with me through Tartary 
and Siberia in the early autumn, a proposition which I eagerly 
accepted, as it was already late for the journey via India. 

Therefore I accepted his invitation to pass the summer at the 
house of his brother, Mr. John G. Walsh, in Nagasaki. 

Unfortunately, Japan was at this time shaken from north to 
south by its internal and foreign troubles, rendering it impossible 
for me to travel. But under the hospitable roof of my host the 
summer passed away pleasantly ; its quiet was broken only by 
the news of distant battles, and the rumors of threatened attacks 
uj)on the foreign settlements. 

The political troubles rendering it impossible for Mr. Walsh to 

36i ACROSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. xxv. 

leave his affairs, the time of our departure was delayed until well 
on in October. 

In the meantime we made extensive preparations for a winter 
journey through a country of whose resources we knew nothing. 

I fear that my readers will accuse us of an undue regard to 
luxury in travelling, should I enumerate the quantities and varie- 
ties of provisions and drinkables which were boxed up for our 
journey, and stowed away on the brig which was to take us to 

At the last moment, fearing lest the provisions already pre- 
pared, which were enough for forty instead of two, were not suf- 
ficient, Mr. Walsh sent on board an additional quantity and sev- 
eral cases of wines for the sea voyage. 



At last we bid good-bye to Mr. J. G. Walsh and other good 
friends, and sailed out of the bay. 

After several days of delightful weather we came in sight of 
the Corean island of Quelpart, and entered the Yellow sea. 

During several days, nothing of interest occurred, excepting 
that the sea seemed alive witli immense numbers of Medusae. 
The great discs of these animals, of two feet and more in diame- 
ter, were everywhere visible, floating like drab umbrellas near 
the surface, and as far as the eye could penetrate the clear blue 
waters. The vessel often cut a way through great masses of 
them, leaving hundreds of their broken forms in its wake. 

During several days we passed through this immense shoal 
of jelly fish, which must have covered an area of thousands of 
square miles. 

We were not deprived of an opportunity to study the habits 
of animal life within the walls of our vessel ; the brig had been 
for a long time in the tropics, and had become thoroughly in- 
fested with cockroaches ; they seemed to rival in numbers the 
Medusae outside ; the floor, the ceiling, and the berths swarmed 
with them. After throwing several bushels of these unwelcome 
passengers into the sea, we were forced to conclude that, in so 
doing, we only made room for fresh and more hungry swarms 
from the hold. They were always first at table, turning up in 
every article of food, and sure to appear upon the most delicate 

I had often heard that the favorite amusement of the animals 
was to gnaw ofi" the toe-nails of sailors ; and, indeed, after my ex- 
perience on this journey, I am ready to believe anything of them, 
even the assertion that they form the principal ingredient in 
India soy, as they certainly were largely represented in our food. 

A violent storm prevented our rounding the promontory of 

366 AOnOSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. xxti. 

Shan-tung, and drove us north between the coast of Corea and 
the peninsula of Shan-tung, where we lay for several days before 
we could enter the gulf ofPe-chele and reach the mouth of the 
Pei-Ho. Here we disembarked and forwarded our supplies by 
boat to Pekinor, making the journey ourselves on horseback. 

At the capital we were so fortunate as to make an addition to 
our party in the person of Mr. St. John, Secretary of the English 
legation. While waiting for the preparations which our new 
companion had to make, we passed our time in getting carts, 
which we had enlarged to admit of sleeping, and in having our 
clothes lined with fur. Gen. Vlangali, the Ilussian minister, kindly 
placed a Cossack at our service for the journey, besides supplying 
us with numerous letters of introduction for Siberia. 

On the morning of the twelfth of November we left the hos- 
pitable gates of Mr. Burlingame's house to set out upon our long 
journey across the table-land of central Asia, and through 
Siberia and Russia to the Atlantic ocean, through countries of 
which no one of our party spoke the languages. 

As the gorge of ISTan-kau is impassable for carts, we had ours 
taken to pieces and packed upon mules, as were all our supplies 
and baggage ; it was quite a ride from the rear to the front of our 
long and straggling caravan. Stopping the first night at Sha- 
ho, we made an early start next morning ; but before reaching 
Nan-kau Walsh's horse fell and sprained the ankle of his rider so 
badly that I feared we should have to give up the journey at its 
first stage, or take my friend back and leave him at Peking. But 
not daunted afthe idea of making the longest land journey on 
the globe in a crippled condition, and disregarding present pain, 
Walsh insisted upon being carried in a chair to Kalgan, where 
our carts were to begin their work. 

At Nan-kau we bought a wooden chair, which, slung between 
two poles and cari-ied by strong men, formed a very convenient 
means of travelling. 

Four flays' journey from Peking brought us to Kalgan ; here we 
were detained four days in perfecting a contract with _ the Mon- 
gols, who were to take us to Tviachta. !As we were bearing dis 
patches, the Chinese Government had given us passports for Tar- 
tary, without which it would have been impossible to obtain either 
guides or camels. Finally, on the 21st of ISTovember, at four 


o'clock in the afternoon, we left Kalgan in a lieavy snowstorm 
the ascent to the summit of the plateau being too steep for camels 
to draw the carts, this work was clone by horses as far as Boro- 
tsedji which we reached at daylight. Here we found our camels, 
twenty-six in number, including those taken as reserves in case of 

The first work was the organization of the caravan, the carts, 
of which there were four, one for each, including Peter the Cos- 
sack, were intended for sleeping-places, as it was our intention to 
travel seventeen hours out of the twenty-four, stopping only once 
to eat. The vehicles, mounted on two wheels and without 
springs, were covered wilh a housing of felt less than three feet 
wide and about seven in length ; they were closed with a door on 
one side, and furnished with abundant blankets and furs, and fitted 
with pockets without number ; the long shafts in front were slung 
iu loops suspended from the saddle of the camel, and a guide 
mounted on another animal accompanied each cart. The bag- 
gage was packed on eight or ten other camels, each animal having 
its nose pierced and fastened by a cord to the saddle of the one 
before it, the foremost being led by a mounted cameleer. 

The ascent to the summit of the plateau, here between five 
and six thousand feet above the sea, brought us into a region of 
intense cold, which was rendered almost insupportable by a 
strong north-northwest wind. The thermometer, which at Kal- 
gan had been ranged near the freezing point, stood here at ten 
degrees below zero (F). 

The wind, having a clear sweep over the plains lying between 
us and the Arctic region, blew with unbroken force, obliging us 
to take shelter in the carts, while the preparations were being 
made for starting. Finally, when all was ready, the cameleers, 
enveloped in immense masses of sheepskin robes, mounted their 
animals and formed into line. During the first two or three days 
our whole time was occupied in endeavoring to find the best 
means to keep from freezing to death, a fate against which I saw 
we had not taken sufficient precaution in our preparations. After 
beins for hours in the carts there would be not more than three or 
four degrees difierence between the inner and outer temperature. 

Although the vehicles were an excellent defence against the 
wind, the temperature of every object on the inside equalized 

368 ACROSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap, xxvi 

itself with that of the outer air.- Woollen blanketa and furs be- 
came so cold that it was impossible to touch them with the nak ed 
hand. Sometime during the first night our route emerged from 
the flat-topped hills of the volcanic region of tlie plateau, and en- 
tered a country of gravelly plains, crossed by low granitic 
ridges. It was not until the fourth day of our caravan journey 
that we were able to summon courage to iace the fierce wind and 
clear cold outside. Feeling a necessity for exercise we mounted 
our Tartar horses, and, leaving the caravan, galloped in the direc- 
tion of a small column of smoke rising from the neighboring 
hills.- Reaching the top of a small eminence we saw in the val- 
ley beneath us a collection of yurts, from which herds were mov- 
ing away to graze. A loud and fierce barking of dogs showed 
that we were already discovered, and as we approached the en- 
campment a score of these savage brutes offered us battle, and 
we should certainly have been worsted had not their masters 
come to our assistance. 

I had taken the precaution to bring an empty bottle, and a pa- 
per of needles, which we immediately presented to the good wo- 
man of the tent. AVe had not long to wait for her gratitude to 
show itself. Putting a large cauldron over the fire she threw in 
some tallow, and after this had melted, poured in a quantity of 
water, to which as soon as it had begun to boil was added a libe- 
ral quantity of brick tea with salt, and small pieces of the fat of 
a sheep's tail. When this was done and a handful of parched 
millet sprinkled over the surface, the good woman served it up in 
wooden cups, putting into each one a lump of cheese, about the 
size of an egg. We stood almost aghast, frightened at the hospita- 
ble offering which our presents had called forth ; and, indeed, a 
decoction of tallow, tea, fat, salt, and cheese is certainly a formida- 
ble compound for a western palate. But notwithstanding tiie 
epithets with which we reviled the mixture, in a language t'oi?fri> 
nately unintelligible to our hostess, the cups wei'e repeatedly filled, 
and_as oftea emptied. Bef ore we had left Mongolia this Tartar 
tea had really become a favorite beverage, with all of us. 

We"wefe~iK)w in a rolhng country, or rather the true plateau, 
cut up by water-courses and the beds of generally empty lakes. 
Riding to the top of a hill we could distinguish our caravan 
winding along the bottom of the great valley, and some two or 


three miles ahead of us. Descending into this depression, we soon 
cut the tracks of the camels and cart-wheels, which we had no 
difficulty in following. A great change had taken place in the 
weather, a light south wind keeping the mercury all day above 
freezing. Low hills of limestone and gypsum rose on all sides 
from the valley plain. The sides of these hillocks, covered with 
crystals of selenite from the gypsum beds, glistened in the sun- 
light as though encrusted with diamonds. In the distance a hori- 
zontal line marked the limit where the cliffs of the table-land shut 
in the broad valley. 

On the morning of the 2Vth wc awoke in a rough country, among 
the hills of Mingan, a mass of metamorphosed sandstone, quartz- 
ite, and limestone in highly-inclined beds. These hills, rising 
like an island from the table-land, and several hundred feet above 
its surface, are barren masses of rock interspersed with patches of 
grass-covered soil. The western base sinks into the broad valley 
of Olannoor, while to the northwest we descended to the great 
steppe of Tainchin Tala. 

This broad plain, which has suffered but little from erosion, 
has a surface of gravel and sand, with scattered patches of grass. 
Pebbles of chalcedony, agate, and cornelian, are strown among 
the gravel. The table-land, at least along the whole line of our 
joui'ney, is utterly destitute of trees, and the first and only per- 
ennial which I saw was a low thorny bush, which appears on the 
Tamchin Tala, and other equally barren soils. From the hill-tops 
one overlooks an immense area of plains or undulating country, as 
boundless and unbroken as the ocean. In the summer this is 
covered with a waving mass of tall grass, forming a green man- 
tle, which toward the distant hoi'izon becomes a deep blue. In 
the winter the scene is entirely changed : the plains and low hills, 
yellow from the color of the gravel and dead grass, have all the 
appearance of a boundless desert. But little snow falls on the 
table-land, and that little soon disappears, drifted into depres^ 
sions, or evapora ted by the intensely dry atmosphere. But the 
little snow that falls is one of the worst enemies of the traveller. 
Frozen into a fine, sharp sand, it is driven with cutting violence 
before the strong north wind, blinding for the time men and 
animals. Lifted by the whirlwind from the ground, it sweeps over 
the surface in eddying clouds, sinking or rising with the varying 

370 AOBOSS AMMBIOA AND ASIA. [chap. xxti. 

force'of the blast, now covering, deeply ,lavge areas, and soon leav- 
ing them again a barren surface. Seen during one of these bovr 
rans, the same plains, which in the summer resemble the smiling 
savannas of the tropics, have all the appearance of an ice-sea, 
lashed by the fierce snow-storms of an Arctic winter. 

When we came up with our caravan we found it already en- 
camped, and we began the process of cooking our single daily 
meal. We were in the habit of stoppi)ig about an hour before 
sunset, to give the animals a rest of six or seven hours out of the 

One large tent answered for the whole party. In the middle 
the Mono-ols put up their tripod and cauldron, and another fire- 
place for our own cooking. We now spread over the country, 
one party in search of snow, the other to forage for argols. It 
was not always an easy matter to find enough of either of these 
articles, both of which were absolutely necessary for cooking. 

Our great forte was in the production of soups ; to this all our 
energies were directed, and it was made the subject of countless 

Obtaining a kettle of water by melting snow, we first put into 
it suc h frozen vegetables as Ave had brought from Kalga n, and 
then such fresh meat as mutton, horse, or cow, as we could get 
from the Mongols, without bemg over-scrupulous as to the man- 
ner of its death ; adding to these a pound or so of fat of the 
sheep's tail, and allowing th e whole to cook, we put into the caul- 
dron one tin each of the following canned provisions": peas, beans, 
ox-tail soup, mock-turtie soup, Jb'rankfort sausages, salmonj_ancL 
tomatoes. How this compound would taste in civil ization- it 
would be hard to say, but no dinner at the Trois Freres, o r at Del- 
monico's, ever disap23eared with greater relish than was shown at 
tliQse four o'clock meals on the steppes of 'I'artary ; And they 
were well-earned, for although we had to work hard in cooking 
them, we often had to work still harder to keep from freezing 
while eating them. The tent offered slight protection against 
the cold winds, and the argol fires gave no warmth at the dis- 
tance of a few inches. 

Consequently, in a strong wind, with the mercury at 20 or 30 
degrees below zero, we were obliged after every few mouthfuls 
to jump up and run an eighth of a mile or so to renew the circula- 


tion. Owing to these interruptions the evening was generally 
far advanced before we reached the bottom of the liberal caul- 
dron. Even this ample dish was not always sufficient to satisfy 
appetites of twenty-four hours' growth, which had been whetted 
by the cold air and constant exercise. As it was only by rare 
accident that we were able to get a cup of Mongol tea in the 
morning, we studied various methods of keeping coffee in a fluid 
state during the night. 

To effect this each one made a bottleful of boiling coffee, 
which was rolled carefully iu a large blanket ; after this had bofii 
heated and folded, and re-heated until it was Bcorohing hot. Then 
thrusting the precious bundle under his fur cloak, each man rushed 
to his cart, and, diving under the bedclothes, carefully hugged his 
ch.arge all night. 

Even a baby could not have been treated more tenderly. In 
this way we generally succeeded in having a bottle of iced coffee 
on awakening in the morning ; but woe to the unhappy man 
made restless by an over-hearty dinner ; his neglected bottle, to 
which he looked for consolation, would be frozen, perhaps burst, 
or, at the very best, the coffee was a mass of needles. 

On the morning of the 28th we were still traversing the Tam- 
chia Tala. There was no wind, and the thermometer stood at 24 
degrees. As the morning wove on we could see that we were ap- 
proaching a change in the character of tlie surface. 

Before noon we had reached the edge of a cliff which formed n 
perpendicular wall, 150 or 200 feet high, overlooking a large do 
pression like the abandoned valley of a river or of a long lake. 
The exposure in the cliff showed the plateau here to consist of 
horizontal strata of coarse and fine sandstones with calcareou? 
cement, containing many fragments of chalcedony and agate. 
On the bank of a small creek stood a small collection of yurts, 
which seemed more permanently established than are generally 
the habitations of this wandering people. Aft^r travelling- 
several miles in this valley, which must be very beautiful in 
summer, we arose to the table-land on the opposite side. The 
country was here rolling, and evidently well covered with grass 
in summer. Hardly had we put up a tent before a number of 
women and children appeared with baskets of argols, which they 
gave to our cameleers. The children had several strings of 

372 ACROSS AMEBIC A AND ASIA. [chap. xxti. 

agates, which they parted with for some pieces of brick tea. 
The gift of the argols was not prompted by pure hospitality, as 
I had supposed. 

While our Mongols were cookiilg their mess, the new-comers 
sat with eager eyes just inside the door of the tent. Our camel- 
eers had a cauldron filled with large pieces of beef, which I 
strongly suspected of having belonged to the frozen carcass of a 
cow we had passed that morning. Almost before the meat was 
warmed through, our guides seized enormous pieces, and began 
the meal by cramming into the mouth as much of one corner of 
the piece as they could get in, and then sawing off the rest just 
outside the lips. Their throats seemed made of india-rubber,' so 
rapidly did one large piece disappear after another. 

Indeed it is hard to understand why the Tartairs are endowed 
with molars. Altogether carnivorous, they used their teeth, so far 
as I could discover, only for tearing their food. In cooking, no 
part of the animal is lost, and they are not over-careful as regards 
cleanliness in preparing their meat for the pot. 

Every novr and then our chief cameleer, taking a piece, gen- 
erally one of the poorest, from .the cauldron, tossed it across the 
tent to the ravenous assemblage of women and children. 

Although most Mongols carry a pair of chop-sticks slung in 
their girdle, they can only be for ornament, as I certainly never 
saw them used. 

Our chief cameleer was a Lama, and had travelled not only 
through Tartary and northern China, but had been to the shrine 
of Tsongkaba, and had knelt before the Grand Lama at Lhassa. 
Fat, and with as jolly a face as even a priest could wish, our 
good natured Lama, while telling the beads of his rosary , or re- 
peating the monotonous Euddist formula, wore an expression of 
most perfect contentment— might have sat as model for a statue 
of Budda in the Nirvana. 

The next morning was comparatively pleasant, with a south- 
west wind and the thermometer at IT degrees. The road lay 
through an uneven country, among low granite hills. During the 
afternoon we crossed the boundary between Inner and Outer 
Mongolia. This limit is marked by rough piles of stones. Thus 
far we bad been travelling through the land of the Sunite 
Tartars, while north of the boundary we would be in the coun- 


try of the Kalkas, under the rule of the 'Khans of Tushetu and 

The Sunites are looked down upon hy the Kalkas, who border 
them on the north and on the southwest. There may be some 
reason in this contempt, as I certainly saw no encampments among 
them which looked as prosperous as those I had passed through 
in my journey along the southern part of the plateau. 

Thus far we had rarely seen encampments of moi-e than five 
or six yurts, and the herds looked small, and their owners had 
the appearance of extreme poverty. Near our camp, which was 
a few miles north of the boundary, I picked up a piece of petrified 
wood, a thing appai-ently of not uncommon occurrence in this re- 
gion! In Peking, several pieces of silicified wood were shown 
me under the name of han-hai-shi or gobi stone. 

In looking for snow I came not far from our camp upon a wel), 
at which large numbers of animals were being watered. It was 
dug in an isolated depression, was only a few feet deep, and 
walled with stone. 

The morning of November 30th opened with a northwest wind 
and the thermometer at 15 degrees. On getting out of the cart 
we found ourselves in a hilly country, near the j)lace marked on 
maps as Arshantyi ; the hills consist mainly of clay slates. After 
traversing these for some time we came upon a broad, dry, gravelly 
water-course, which, descending to the west, below low granite 
cliflfs, widens out in the valley of the Ulannoor. These granite 
hills are perfectly bare of soil, and devoid of any vegetation, with 
the remarkable exception of two or three stunted trees, growing 
in crevices of the rock. These were the first and only trees which 
we saw on the plateau. , 

On emerging from the ■\'alley Ave came into a country of high 
terraces of clay. Near this point we expected to find a large 
town, as nearly all maps have a place marked at this point with 
the name of Gashun ; we consequently set out to explore for it 
on horseback. 

After passing the first hill we saw a large herd of hwang-yang 
quietly grazing in the valley below us ; but being to the wind- 
ward of the herd they soon scented us, and a troop of several 
hundred dashed over the hills at a rapid rate, and were soon out 
of sight. After a further ride of two or three miles we came 

374 AOB0S8 AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. xxvi. 

upon the object of our seai-ch, which, instead of being a large vil- 
lage, consisted of only two or three yurts. Still, we breakfasted 
luxuriously on Tartar tea and lumps of boiled fat of sheep's 
tails. This part of Tartar sheep is considered a great delicacy 
through all Asia, and is re ally almost equal to marrow . The 
tail of this animal in Tartary attains a wei ght of from thirty to 
fifty poundg, Qif pureJat. Seen from behind, the animal is all tail ; 
and, when the appendage attains its largest dimensions, it becomes 
necessary to attach a contrivance, by means of which the animal 
can conveniently carry his own tail without allowing it to drag. 
This is sometimes effected by suspending it upon a kind of wheel- 
barrow, or upon two sticks, which at one end are fastened to the 
sheep, and at the other dragged upon the ground behind him. 
This growth of fat seems to be peculiar to the table-land, for it 
is said that the same breed, when taken to India, soon loses this 
peculiarity. It may perhaps serve the same purpose as the 
hump of the camel, that of supplying in time of plenty an abun- 
dant store of fat, upon which the animal can subsist through a 
season of deep snow, when it would otherwise starve. 

When the English troops occupied Afghanistan, the soldiers 
became so partial to the tails of these sheep that they discarded 
almost entirely the lean . The result was a congestion of faTln _ 
the intestines, Ayhicji caused a great mortality in the arm y. For- 
tunately we had not heard of this fact when we travelled in 

At Gashun we bought of the good woman of the tent a libe- 
ral supply of cream, put up like immense sausages. As it was 
frozen it was easily carried, slung to the saddle, without danger 
of being churned into butter. 

On the morning of the 1st of December the thermometer 
stood at 3 degrees below zero. All the morning, our road lay 
over hills of metamorphio slates and limestone in vertical beds, 
striking N.E., S.W. 

The beds of limestone, being least susceptible of disintegration, 
form ridges 100 to 150 feet above the intervening slate out-crops, 
thereby producing parallel valleys, containing in the season ponds 
or lakes. Descending from these hills we entered a large valley 
with broad, terraced slopes, gently inclining toward the centre, 
and, crossing this, we came on the northern declivity upon a 


line of conical hilla of basaltic lava, between 100 and 200 feet 
higli. They rose' like isolated towers from the gently-sloping 
surface of the terrace, but detached from the plateau, the cliff 
line of which lies a few hundred yards further noi'th. 

We were obliged to go into camp several hours earlier than 
usual, iu order to wait the return of our chief cameleer, who had 
gone to hunt for two camels which had strayed away. 

Although secured by strhigs passed through the nose, tho 
camel will sometimes tear out the flesh, and, once away from the 
caravan, Avill often give his pursuer a good chase. Still, the 
Tartar or Bactrian camel is far more docile than his brother of 
Egypt and southwestern Asia. Much larger than the southern 
camel, he is provided with a heavy coat of long hair, and with 
two humps, which, after a season of grazing, stand upon his back 
great cones of fat, forming the most comfortable of saddles. 

Most people are accustomed to associate the camel only with 
tropical climates. 

The Bactrian species is of little use during the hot season, 
while during the coldest winter it performs nearly all the labor 
of transportation in central Asia, in countless Caravans these 
patient annuals traverse, in every direction, the frozen deserts of 
the table-land, and descend into the region of deep snows and 
intense cold of southern Siberia. 

Their broad, spongy feet, more pliable than the palm of the hu- 
man hand, and armed with claw-shaped nails, are adapted only to 
walking over sand ; rocky or gravelly surfaces soon wear out the 
thick skin of the footj while on mud or ice they find no foothold. 

The life of the camel in northern China, where large numbers 
ai'C used in the transportation of coal, is one of torture. Toiling 
day .after day over the rough rocks or smooth pavements of the 
mountain roads, and hardly fed at all, its feet worn to shreds, 
and its humps hanging in loose bags over the side, the Chinese 
coal camel is as much an object of pity as a Broadway stage- 

Even in many parts of Mongolia tho caravan routes are grav- 
elly, and wearing to the camels. 

While waiting for the return of our Lama we witnessed the 
operation of re-soling or rather patching the soles of a camel's 
foot, where a hole about an inch in diameter had been worn 

376 ACROSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. xxvx. 

through to the quick. The animal being thrown on his side, and 
all four feet bound tightly together, and his head tied back near 
the humps, was held motionless. After cleaning out the wound, a 
piece of raw cow-hide, perfectly fresh, was sewed to the skin of 
the foot, two or three stitches being taken on each side of the 
piece. The hind feet seemed to suffer most, and the operation 
has to be renewed every few days. 

While roaming among the hills, not far from our camp, we 
came to a well, at which immense herds of camels, hoi-ses, oxen, 
sheep, and goats, were being watered. To us the most interest- 
ing and novel part of the assemblage were the young camels ; 
even the smallest showed the staid and sober bearing of its race, 
and none of the exuberant friskiness common to young colts and 

The next morning opened with clear, quiet cold of 8 degrees 
below zero. During the day we crossed two broad valley de- 
pressions. From the highest ground the flat outline of the 
plateau was visible in every direction, excepting to the south of 
us, where the horizon was broken by the hills we had lately 
passed through, which rise perhaps 1,000 feet above the neigh- 
boring table-land. 

Although the thermometer marked several degrees below zero, 
we experienced no inconvenience from the cold, partly owing to 
the absence of wind, and partly to the clear sun. I doubt 
whether any one, who has not wintered on the plains in the in- 
terior of a northern continent, can appreciate the feelings which 
led the early inhabitants of central Asia to love and worship the 
sun. In the intense cold of an elevated region, the plains of which, 
unprotected by forests, are open to the almost perpetual blast of 
the polar wind, life would be unbearable without the quickening 
influence of an unclouded sun. The atmosphere of central Asia 
is intensely dry, because the winds reach it from every direction 
only after having deposited their moisture on the broad belt of 
lowlands and the high mountain peaks which intervene between 
the table-lands and the oceans ; thus, especially in winter, the sun 
rises, runs through its daily coarse, and sets, an unobscured orb, 
whose rays, suffering a minimum of refraction, arrive at the sur- 
face with a greater degree of warmth than would obtain in more 
moist regions in the same latitude. 


Often in this journey, in travelling nortliward, facing the 
strong Arctic winds, with a thermometer at 10 and 20 degrees 
below zero, while almost ready to drop from the saddle, owing to 
stiffness from cold, I have turned my horse to face the sun, and 
have felt in a few minutes the Avarmth of its rays stealing gently 
through my veins, like an influx of new life and fresh vigor. 

The heavy icicles formed by condensations of the breath njion 
the beard would gradually loosen, and the mask of ice, which 
sometimes formed a protection to the face, would slowly disap- 
pear. How often have I tlien felt that, had I been born a no- 
mad, I should have fallen down to worship the great light-giving 
god of day, as he was adored by the earliest bards of our race, 
the authors of the Vedas. 

During the night there fell two inches of snow, and when we 
mounted our horses in the morning we had to face a fearfully 
cold wind and the eddying clouds of snow, which, driven like 
sand, fairly cut the face with its sharp edges. It was a hard day 
for man and beast. The long train of camels faced reluctantly 
the blinding force of the storm, and we made but little progress. 

During the afternoon the plain began gradually to descend, 
and finally ended among low ridges of granite. 

During the night the storm increased in violence till it blew a 
very hurricane, rendering all thought of starting out of the 

The cold also increased to such an extent that there was dan- 
ger of freezing, even in the carts. When dayliglrt came our 
blankets were covered with half an inch of snow, from the con- 
densed moisture of the breath. For some time past our bedding 
had become frozen stiff as boards, from the same cause. ^During 
the 4th December the thermometer stood at 16 degrees below 
zero, but the continued force of the hurricane kept us encamped. 

We were here at a small Mongol village called Buteryn Chelu, 
half-way between Kalgan and Kiachta. We passed the day in 
the Mongol yurts, endeavoring to thaw out and dry our blankets 
and furs over the argol fires. The next day, with the thermo- 
meter still at 16 degrees below zero, but with an abated wind, 
we continued our journey among low hills of granitic and meta- 
morphic rocks, among which I observed beds of dolomitic lime- 
stone, impregnated with flakes of graphite. 

378 AGBOSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. xxvi. 

In the afternoon we encamped at a place called Huvi, among 
some hills of trachytic porphyry, identical in character with that 
of Kalgan. 

For several days we had seen before us a mountain peak, 
which in the clear atmosphere of the plains seemed so near that 
we each day thought to pass it before night ; but each morning 
it stood still beyond us, towering higher than on the previous day. 

On the afternoon of the 6th we approached the base of this 
picturesque peak, which is called the Bogdo Oola, or sacred moun- 
tain. From a broad terrace, which forms the foot-slope of this 
peak, a large valley was visible in the southwest, threaded by a 
winding frozen river, the Russ Gol. 

While crossing this plain an accident occurred which might 
in several ways have produced serious results. A cameleer in 
charge of the carts had fallen asleep in the saddle, and the ani- 
mals, taking advantage of this, had strayed on to uneven ground, 
where they could browse, while lazily moving forward. In mak- 
ing a short descent one of the carts was upset, breaking one of 
the shafts. We all rushed to the spot, and while attempting to 
right the vehicle a violent altercation arose between the owner 
of the cart and the Mongol whose stupid negligence had caused 
the accident. The foreigner, finding that strong English produced 
no impression on the Mongol, endeavored to enforce his meaning, 
by well-directed lumps of ice, which fell harmlessly upon the 
quadruple thickness of sheep-skins which encased the cameleer ; 
not so, however, when returned with increased force upon the 
simply woollen-clad foreigner. In self-defence the latter now 
drew his revolver. It happened that a considerable number of 
Mongols from a neighboring village were standing by, laughing 
at the unequal odds of the battle; but when these saw the pistol 
they drew their long knives, to use them on the side of their fel- 
low-countryman. Our situation seemed to ' be growing very 
serious, Avhen another matter called for the attention of all par- 

Frightened by the noise, the camel drawing St. John's cart had 
turned and fled. Dashing at full tilt over the rocky plain, we 
could see the cart, now swaying from side to side, now bounding 
high in the air. Soon the wheels left the body, and the contents 
of the cart were seen flying in all directions. 


This turn of affairs Avas so ludicrous that oven the owner of 
the cart could not help laughing lustily. But when it occurred 
to him that all his money, in gold, for the long journey through 
a strange land, was in one of the slender cloth jDockets of the 
vehicle, the matter appeared in a more serious light. Twenty or 
thirty Mongols were already in advance of us picking up the 
scattered articles, and there seemed no likelihood of recovering 
the money. When we readied the cart we found the pocket 
torn and the treasure gone. It was of course natural to suspect our 
visitors of having appropriated the coin to their own use, and it 
■was proposed that we should forcibly search them — certainly not 
a very easy thing to be accomplished with impunity by four for- 
eigners, upon two score of Mongols, in the heart of central Asia. 

While we were discussing the matter among ourselves a loud 
shout was heard from a strange Mongol, Avho was digging all 
alone some distance back in the track of the cart. 

Hurrying to the spot, he pointed out a pile of shining sove- 
reigns, which would have been an immense fortune to him, but 
which he had carefully gathered together out of the sand, in 
which they had been buried by the blankets dragging behind the 
cart, and which he triumphantly handed over to the owner. Not 
one was missing. St. John rewarded the man liberally ; and from 
that time we all of us had a higher opinion of the honesty of thi.s 
people. Theft, I believe, is a thing of rare occurrence among 
this simple people ; they will over-reach in bargains, but the 
Buddist commandment — " Thou shalt not steal " — is, perhaps, 
more generally observed than is that of our own religion in more 
.civilized countries. 

The next day was passed in repairing the carts. Although 
the thermometer stood at 17 degi-ees, the absence of wind ren- 
dered the day not unpleasant ; but owing to the bad road, and 
the weak condition of one of the carts, we made but little progress. 
Encamping early, we lay over till the next mornino;. 

When I awoke in the morning the thermometer was at 20 de- 
<Trees below zero, and the fierce blasts of wind which whistled 
around the carts, causing them to sway to and fro, bespoke a 
hard day's work. It was too cold to remain inactive in the carts, 
between the icy blankets ; and the resistance offered by the north 
wind rendered it very difficult to walk for any considerable length 

380 AOEOSS AMERICA AND A8IA. [chap. xxvi. 

of time. Our only resource in such places was to mount our 
horses, which were already much fatigued by travelling seventeen 
hours daily. 

None but animals born on these plains could have endured 
the hardships of this journey ; but the large Mongol ponies, cov- 
ered with a long, shaggy coat of hair, followed patiently the carts, 
to which they were tied at night, and carried us during the greater 
part of the day. 

For a whole week at a time getting no other water than the 
little snow that they CQuld pick up when our route passed a drift, 
and, excepting a handful of barley, no other food than a litjile frozen 
grass, which they picked up during the hour before sunset, these 
patient brutes served us well through the whole of our journey 
to the Siberian frontier. 

Toward evening we came suddenly to the brow of a hill, 
from which we overlooked the Lamasery town of Churin Chelu. 

The light of the setting sun was reflected back from the gilded 
spires and balls of the temples, producing an effect as startling 
as it was unexpected in the middle of the Gobi desert. The 
place has perhaps a hundred houses, many lai-ge yurts, and 
several fine temples. The houses are built of wood, brought 
from Urga, beyond the northern edge of the plateau. As we 
passed the village the streets were filled with Lamas, in their col- 
ored dresses, and the evening air bore the sound of the chanted ves- 
pers from the temples. The next day was very cold — 20 degrees 
below zero, and a strong north wind. It seemed as though we 
could not possibly reach Siberia without having some parts of 
our bodies frozen. Long and swinging icicles hung from the 
shaggy coats of camels and horses, producing a strange tinkling 
sound at every step. During this morning the ice accumulated; , 
on my whiskers and beard until it hung in a mass nearly a foot • 
long and of no inconsiderable weight. Even the mouth-piece of ' 
my pipe became fixed in the ice formed on my moustache. Turn- 
ing my back to the wind, a few minutes' exposure to the sun re -f 
moved these ici cles, which formed again after travelling a short dis- 

During the day we passed through a small village, in which the 
yurts were very large, and had wooden vestibules. Entering one 
of these dwellings, we found it very roomy and warm. It was 


occupied by two Lamas, who gave us tea in return for tobacco. 
They were much interested with my pipe, which represented the 
head of a heavily bearded Zouave, and which they took to be a 
portrait of myself — a rather doubtful compliment. We had al- 
ready passed the middle of the desert, and the country had now 
a general ascent toward the north. The great table-land of cen- 
tral Asia forms a shallow trough-like depression, beginning in the 
region~between the Tienshan and the Kwen-lun mountains, and 
extending northeast to the Kin-gan mountains of western Haii- 
cliuria and the Amoor river. Its northern and southern limits ar e 
fe^ectrvely the Altai mountains and the bold escarpment with 
which It faces northern China. 

From these edges, which have a general elevation of 5,000 and 
6,000 fe et above the sea, the surface has a general descent toward 
the centre, where the altitude of the plains is between 2,000 and 
3,000 feet. The general width of the table-land is about 500 
miles. The sandy plains, which through the whole length oc- 

cupy the centre of t his shallow trough with a_width of 100 miles 
or more, form a dreary "waste, called the Gobi deser t. But as 
we leave this, going north or south, we traverse the great grassy 
plains which alone render this country habitable, and from 
which it gets its name — the land of grass. It is a continental 
basin, having no drainage to the sea, and few streams. In the far 
west the rivers, formed by the melting snows of the Tienshan 
and Kwen-lun, find their way into Lake Lop, which has no outlet 
except by evaporation into the dry atmosphere. 

At no very remote geological time this region was the bed of 
an extensive sea, which during one period of its existence formed 
part of an ocean, extending over much of Siberia, Tartary, west- 
ern Asia, and eastern Europe, connecting the Polar sea with the 
waters of the Caspian and Mediterranean. The elevation of the 
plateau was, perhaps, the first step in the series of natural causes 
by which the area of this great body of water was gradually 
diminished till it was replaced by dry land. 

On the 10th we camped on the plain of Borudzurintala, over 
which we had travelled all day. 

The surface was covered with abundant dead grass. The next 
morning we found ourselves in a hilly country. Flat-topped hills 
of volcanic rock seemed to indicate the existence on the northern 

382 ACROSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. xxn. 

edge of the plateau of- a volcanic region, corresponding to that of 
the southern escarpment. 

The next day the country had changed its character, and we 
found ourselves ascending a broad valley, with sweeping vertical 
and horizontal curves, bordered by round-topped hills of clay 

The surface of hill and valley was clothed with grass, which 
during the season must grow to a considerable height. 

The soil of the valley and hill-slopes was a rich black earth, 
different from anything seen on the rest of the plateau. We were 
here in the Horteryn-Daban (Daban -mountain). During the 
following night we felt, from the motion of the carts, that we 
were going down hill, and morning found us descending a flat 
gravelly plain or valley, enclosed between hills from 300 to 500 
feet high, which were remarkable for their pyramidal form. 

The sides of some of these were clothed with pine forests, 
which, though a novel sight to us, gave an air of gloom to the 

Among these hills, at the junction of the valley we were descend- 
ing with that ot the Tola river, lies the town of Urga, or Kuren, 
the seat of one of the four or five living Buddhas, who, subject to 
the Talai Lama, rule the inhabitants of Mongolia and Thibet. 

There is a Russian consulate at Urga, and as we had letters of 
introduction to M. Chischmareff, the consul, we directed our steps 
toward his house. This was a large, two-story building, con- 
structed of logs, hewn to a plain surface, outside and in, well 
painted without, and with a carefully furnished interior. Before 
reaching the consulate I was taken by surprise by our chief camel- 
eer, who, rushing up to me, began to rub my face vigorously with 
snow, but I soon learned that my nose was frozen, and that the 
object of the washing was to thaw out the frost. 

M. Chischmareff being absent, we were politely received by his 
wifs, and the secretary, M. Borzakosky. I soon began to feel the 
effects of having frozen my nose, and it was many days before I 
was freed from the pain and the swelling. 

On the 13th we took a walk through the city, which has a pop- 
ulation of 16,000, of which one-half are Lamas. 

The present Grand Lama is as usual a Thibetan, and only sixteen 
years old. 


The palace in which he lives has a roof highly ornamented with 
gilded spires and balls. 

During our walk we saw many large huildings, most of them 
of unfamiliar shapes, and one built exactly like a yurt, but of 
great size, being, I should think, thirty or forty feet high, and sixty 
or seventy feet in diameter. Entering one large temple we 
saw an immense image of Budda apparently of wood, covered 
with sheets of gilded copper. The proportions are well pre- 
ser\'ed throughout the statue, and some idea of its size may be 
formed from that of the great toe, which was more than eighteen 
inches in length. This image, though well finished, does not com- 
pare, as a work of art, with the statue of Budda in repose at 
Kama kura, near Yeddo. In front of this, as well as of the other 
temples, there were many cylinders, or praying machines, which 
were easily set in motion by turning a crank, each revolution 
accomplishing in the way of prayer an amount of work which 
if done verbally would require some hours. 

It has often been asserted, perhaps oftener now than formerly , 
that the ritualism of the European Church is a d irect offshoot of 
Thibetan Lamaism. The resemblance is so strong in a majority 
of the details of both that Abbe Hue, a Roman missionary, wel l 
v ersed in the history and religion of Thib et, could find no better 
way of accounting fo r the similarity than by supposing it to be 
an artifice of satan, invented to bring disgra ce upo n the holy 

But these praying machines are a refinement which not even 
the extremists of the west have adopted. Even the simple crank 
motion has been improved upon by the ingenious Lamas, who 
attach the cylinders to wind-mills and water-T\heels. The wor- 
shipper, setting one of these in motion, goes on bis way with the 
assurance that every revolution of the cylinder completes a large 
number of prayers for his benefit. The advantages of this over 
the rosary, which they use also, are obvious. 

The Buddist faith was introduced into Mongolia directly from 
Thibet, and probably at a time when the religion had already 
received those characteristics which distinguish the Thibetan 
form so widely from the Indian, Chinese, and Japanese. The en- 
grafting ,of Brahminical doctrines upon the simple teachings of 
Budda was the earliest csorruption of the faith, and to this were 

384 A0B0S8 AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. xxvt. 

added in China many of the superstitions of that conntry ; and 
finally, reaching Japan, this accumulated burden was further di- 
versified by the dogmas of Sintuism. Under the control of no cen- 
tral head, the corruptions of these branches have multiplied many 
fold, and the church has split into many sects. But the early 
establishment in Thibet of a hierarchy, controlling church and 
^tate'iinHer the immediate rule of an incarnate Budda^ insured a 
vitality which does not yet seem to be on the wane . Although 
irTMongolia the religion of Bndda has become corrupted by pre- 
existing Shamanism, it still retains more of original purity than 
among the other branches. The observations of Abb6 Hue show 
that in Thibet, even at the present day, the original teachings of 
Budda are followed by a large number of priests and monks 
with a zeal not found elsewhere. In the monasteries and hermit 
cells of the mountains of Thibet there exist to-day countless 
monks and hermits, who, living lives of the most rigid asceticism, 
seek crowns of glory through life-long mortification of the flesh. 
In principle we have here the exact counterpart of one of the 
earliest outgrowths of Christianity, in which was nurtured that 
zealous devotion to the Church which accomplished so much in 
spreading the faith, and which marked the period of its greatest 

The influence of the humane doctrines of JBudda, from a soci al 
poi nt of view, is most marked among the Mongolians, who se 
character they seem to have moulded as much as Mohammed ajv 
ism has "that of the Kirgis tribes further west. To-day we wo uld 
not recognize in the Mongols the race which, under the leader - 
ship of Grengis-Khan and his descendants, overthrew the dynas- 
ties of all Asia and of eastern Europe, sen ding terror even to the 
shores of the Atlantic. Thispeople, once a scourge tohuma nity, 
is now per haps the most peaceable upon "the glo| )_er„ 

The Chinese^ourt, mindful of their struggles with these north- 
ern neighbors, has craftily taken advantage of the influence of 
Buddism upon their character. During centuries it has fostered 
Lama Buddism, encouraging in every manner the multiplication 
of Lamaseries and monasteries; thus, 'by largely increasing the 
number of priests (who are not allowed to marry),ithas, at the 
same time, diminished the population, and subdued the warlike 
character of the race. 


At the same time it keeps up a constant drain upon the male 
population to supply the Chinese army with soldiers, who are deci- 
mated in rebellions and wars witli foreigners. But the draft into 
the priesthood operates the most powerfully in keeping down 
popuTatlon! At present, in every family, one and often several 
of the males become Lamas at an early age. This immense 
army of drones lives, of course, off of the substance of the re- 
maining population. The Lamas pass their time in Lamaseries, 
or in roaming through Tartary and Thibet, serving the wants of 
the native superstitions, and practising all the arts of a crafty 
priesthood. The numerous festivals which take place at the 
monasteries attract immense crowds of the devout laity, who 
often return to their homes impoverished by the offerings of 
large herds and treasure which they have been called upon to 

On the 14th of December we left Urga for Kiachta. The turn 
in the road brought us into a valley tributary to the Tola. Some 
distance before us two buildings of great size, one on each slope, 
commanded the valley. They are built on high terraces ; and one 
of them, constructed in the Thibetan style of architecture, which 
was slightly inclining toward the top, was certainly the most 
sepulchral and gloomy structure I had ever seen. 

From this valley we passed over a high and steep hill, where 
the carts had to be drawn by oxen led by women. 

The next day, while riding in a temperature of 20 degrees be- 
low zero, we saw coming toward us a train of camels and carts, 
in front of which rode two Europeans. These proved to be Mr. 
Papoff, of the Russian legation of Peking, and his bride, a Russian 
lady, whom he was now taking to China. Mounted on a good 
horse, and thoroughly protected by furs, this lady assured us that 
she did not dread either the cold or the hardships of the long 
journey that lay before her. 

Fortunately, by going south, they escaped facing the almost 
constant north wind, which is the most disagreeable part of the 

The next day, with the thermometer at 22 degrees, we passed 
throuf^h several fine valleys clothed with grass, and enclosed be- 
tween rounded hills, whose northern slopes were covered with 

pme forests. 


AGB0S8 AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap, xxvi 

On the 1*7* we awoke in a country of plains and hills, the 
latter having the appearance of an archipelago of small rocky- 
islands' rising out of an extensive steppe. We encamped at 
Bain Gol, and were soon visited by a large number of Mongols. 
Considering the sameness of life, of climate, and pursuits, which 
exists throughout Mongolia, it is remarkable that this people 
should show the diversity of types of faces that we find among 

Certain characteristics are common to them all. Of medmm 
stature, rather above that of the northern Chinese, they had the 
almond eyes, prominent cheek-bones, the scanty beard, without 
side-whiskers, which are all marked points of the Mongolian race. 
There is, perhaps, more diversity in the nose than in any other 

Among the women at Bain Gol I noticed some with regular, 
and others with really aquiline noses, though in general the nose 
had so little prominence that, when looked for in the profile, it was 
entirely hidden by the prominent cheeks. If I were asked to de- 
fine the difierence between tlie Chinese and Mongolian face, I 



should say that the features were the same, though more delicately 
chiselled and softened down in the Chinaman ; and in China this 
difierence increases, until in the southern provinces we find the 
same features formed in a much more efieminate mould, while 
the people are also much smaller in stature. 

While we were at Bain Gol several trains of small carts, drawn 


by oxen, passed us on their way south, carrying millet, which 
seems to be the only grain used by the Mongols. 

During the summer the transportation is carried on almost en 
tirely by oxen. 

During the next two days the mountains bordering our route 
appeared to be higher ; and in the forests, with which they were 
covered, there appeared an increasing number of deciduous trees, 
particularly the white birch. 

The Mongol villages through which we now passed had a 
more permanent character than those of the plains, the houses 
being more generally built of logs, and surrounded with some 
cultivated land. 

"We were now crossing the eastern extension of the Altai 
mountains ; and on the morning of the 21st, as we emerged from 
the forest on the northern slope, the Mongols called our attention 
to a group of houses and spires, which lay on the opposite side 
of a broad plain stretched out before us. This was the double 
city of Kiachta and Mai-mai-chin. 

About noon we reached the latter town, which, lying on the 
Mongolian side of the frontier, is entirely Chinese in character, as 
it is also the principal frontier market-town of the empire. In 
traversing its narrow streets, between rows of Chinese houses, 
and threading our way among neatly-dressed Chinamen, we 
could almost imagine ourselves again south of the great wall. 

Entering a large open place, we found several cai'avans, some 
encamped, others just coming or leaving. After some little de 
lay, in having our passports examined by Chinese oflBcials, we 
were permitted to pass the wall which separates the two towns. 
One can hardly imagine a sharper line than is here drawn. On 
the one side of the stockade-wall the houses, churches, and peo 
pie are European, on the other Chinese; wit h one s tep the trav- 
eller pas ses really from Asia, and Asiatic customs and languages 
into a refined Eurojpean society. 



Our first step after reaching Kiachta was to present our pass- 
ports and letter to M. Pfaffius, commissioner of the frontier. From 
this gentleman and his wife we had a cordial reception, and an 
invitation to dinner the next day. The Russian minister to 
China had kindly written in advance of our coming, and we found 
that M. Garnier, with whom I had travelled the previous year to 
Peking, had prepared quarters for us at the town of Troitzkozavsk, 
about four miles distant, whither we immediately went. It was no 
easy task to transform ourselves into the semblance of decent 
Europeans ; for nearly six weeks we had been unable to make 
any change of clothes, and our only ablutions had been an oc- 
casional wash of face and hands with greasy soup, as a preventive 
against chapping. 

Our long exposure to the intense cold of the plateau rendered 
the heat of Russian houses almost insupportable. By opening 
the wind-wheel ventilators, which pass through the upper panes 
of the double-glazed windows, we reduced the temperature to 45 
degrees, but even this was at first oppressive. Soon after our ar- 
rival we were told that the bath-house was heated ; we were 
shown into an outer room, and after undressing, into another 
filled with steam. In one corner a large oven, containing a 
quantity of cobble stones, had been heated for several hours ; 
into this a servant dashed a pailful of water, which immediately 
becoming steam, filled the room. This process of bathing, which 
was at first so disagreeable as to be almost painful, we soon 
learned to regard as a luxury, and there is certainly nothing more 
refreshing. The next day, after paying the Mongols, and dis- 
charging the Cossack, we drove over to Kiachta to dine with Mr. 
Pfaifius, and after dinner sat down to cards, the principal amuse- 
ment of the country. 

Among the company was Colonel Buthets,who was sent by his 


Government in 1842 to the United States, to engage Mr. Whistler 
as chief engineer of the railroad between St. Petersburg and 
Moscow. Colonel Buthets, who was now working gold placers, 
informed me that 27:100ths of an ounce of gold to a ton of earth 
is considered rich. 

His workings, which are in the district east of Kiachta, are in 
and near the beds of mountain creeks. The earth is here almost 
alway frozen, and the gold can be gained only by breaking up the 
ground in winter, and working it in summer, after the exposed 
heaps have thawed. / <"i«^^ ^*vfc*v»i a,, LtK~.f4, C ^o/i a» /(t-^^\ 

When associated with much clay, it is cojiminuted by passing 
it with a stream of water through a revolving drum, in which it 
remains a longer or shorter time, according to its consistency ; 
from this it passes over tables of variable form, where the gold is 
collected. The valleys on the northern slope of the Yablonoi 
mountain seem to abound in auriferous localities. In the valley 
of the Olekma river, a tributary of the Lena, the water, eoniined 
under a heavy pressure every year by ice, bursts its covering, 
flows over and freezes upon the surrounding country, until toward 
the end of winter the accumulation of frozen overflows have a 
thickness of from ten to twenty feet. This covering, and the 
fact that the earth between it and the pay-dirt never thaws, render 
the working very diflicult. 

The thickness of the ice-bed is often diminished by keeping 
long, parallel trenches open over the ground which it is proposed 
to work in summer. Much of the water flows ofi" through these 
ditches, which are alternately cleared of the constantly forming ice. 

This tendency to form frozen inundations • is very common 
among the Siberian rivers. Rising in the south, and flowing 
from'warmer to colder latitudes, their lower and middle courses 
are frozen, while the head-waters are still open. The ice forms 
in shallow places clear down to the bottom of the stream, while, 
for a hundred miles or more above, the river, covered by a thick 
sheet of ice, is in the condition of a tube with its Tower end 
closed. Under the enormous pressure thus brought to bear, the 
water bursts from its confinement, overflowing it s ban ks where 
they are lowest^ covering gradually the whole valley with accu 
mulating thicknesses of ice. In this way I have "seen a ravine 
gradually filled to the depth of twenty feet by the congealed 

390 A0B088 AMEBIOA AND ASIA. [chap, xxvit 

waters of an insignificant rill. T^^&^ax^Aj^&_^2^^^^i^}lJ'^^'^^^~^ 
"cEaracter of The ground, form ajgreat obstocle to the develop^ 
ment of tte rich gold fields of northeastern Siberia. Some of the 
g^id ontETs region Ts said to have a fineness of 980-1000. 

"While at Troizkozavsk we visited the bazaar to buy furs for 
our journey through Siberia. The skin most generally used by 
gentlemen is that of the genette, or American raccoon. It is 
imported mostly from the United States. A superior robe of this 
costs about 200 roubles, which is equal to $150. The fur of the 
sable is worth from 25 roubles upward apiece ; the finest quali- 
ties readily bring 60, 100, or even 200 roubles. 

In this bazaar we saw English iron, which is m-uch used, and 
costs about 23 per cent, more than Russian ; it is brought from 
China through Mongolia. The average cost for freight from 
Tung-Chau, the head of boat navigation on the Pei-Ho river, to 
Kiachta, is about $60 per ton. 

A considerable quantity of American tobacco, under the name' 
of "Maryland," is imported for the manufacture of ladies' ciga- 
rettes, while the material for men's smoking is brought from 
Turkey, although a good deal of inferior tobacco is raised in 
different parts of Siberia. 

On the Russian Christmas Day we drove over in the evening 
to dine with M. Pfaffius. As there is rarely enough snow for 
sleighing in this part of Siberia, south of Lake Baikal, the inhabit- 
ants rely altogether upon wheeled vehicles. This evening St. 
John and myself drove alone. We had hardly gone over half 
the road when a break in one of the. wheels brought us to a 
stand-still. While we were trying to repair the damage, our 
attention was suddenly attracted toward a group which Was 
approaching, and which evidently took a marked interest in us. 
The bright moonlight, which illuminated the open plains far and 
near, revealed to us several wolveS, which were rapidly approach- 
ing. Suddenly they stopped on a small eminence close at hand, 
as if to take a good look at us. Their large, shaggy forms, 
clearly defined against the sky, were anything but a pleasant 
sight, considering that we had neither arms to fight, nor means 
of getting away. Instantly our memories recalled the long- 
forgotten stories of Russian wolves, including that of the mother 
who saved the lives of herself and one or two children by throw- 


ijig out of the sleigh, one by one, the other members of her 
family. Dashing toward the group, we waved our hands, and 
shouted a duet, which took our visitors so completely by sur- 
prise that they turned tail, and trotted off at a quick pace, stop- 
ping, after the manner of wolves, every few rods, to look back. 

The ease with which this victory was accomplished, surprised 
us quite as much as our chorus did the enemy. We lost a 
long-cherished respect for Russian wolves, as completely as Europe 
did a few years since for the Russian bear. I afterward took 
occasion many times to question into the authenticity of those 
Russian wolf stories which, with us, have passed almost into 
household words. At the risk of being classed among those un- 
poetic iconoclasts who would even leave Romulus and Remus un- 
suckled, I am compelled to say that I never found a Russian to 
whom these terrible tales w ere familiar. 

At dinner we met, among others, a gentleman who was by birth 
a full-blooded Buriat Mongol, and whose face was marked by the 
extremest characteristics of his race ; he was well educated, and 
struck me as in no respect inferior to the European gentlemen by 
whom he was surrounded. After dinner the whole party drove 
over to the club at Kiachta, a large building with rooms for 
dancing, conversation, reading, and billiards, and the inevitable 
buffet, which everywhere in Russia assumes an importance un- 
known elsewhere. The company, of both sexes, seemed to divide 
their time between dancing and playing at cards, with rather 
stronger inclinations to the latter. Among the dancers was an 
ofBcer who had lost one leg in the Crimea, a circumstance which 
did not prevent his going gracefully with wooden-leg and crutch 
through a quadrille. During our stay at Kiachta we accepted an 
invitation from Major Muravieff, nephew of the former Governor- 
General, to accompany him to his head-quarters at Kudara. 
This officer, to whom we were indebted then, and subsequently, 
for many favors, was in command of the Cossacks, along 600 
miles of the frontier. The distance was about forty miles, which 
we traversed in little over three hours. There being no snow on 
the ground, we travelled in a " tarantass," a four-wheeled vehicle, 
constructed on the principle of the buck-board wagon, being a 
box slung on long poles in lieu of springs, and drawn by as 
many horses harnessed abreast as the passenger chooses to pay 

392 A0B088 AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap, xxth 

for. We found a large village surrounding the well-built and 
elegantly-furnished quarters of our host. The inhabitants are 
all Cossacks, part of the frontier guard established by Peter 
the Great, for the double purpose of settling and defending the 
outskirts of the empire. Being at the same time soldiers and 
farmers, they enjoy with their families many privileges guar 
anteed to them by the edicts of their founder, and his successors. 
The number of this population under the command of Major 
MuraviefP was about 17,000 souls. 

We arrived at Kudara during a festival, and in the evening 
went with the Major through the village to see the amusements 
of the people. Hearing a sound of music and singing in one of 
the houses, we went in. In the unheated vestibule a shower of 
snow was falling, caused by the continuous condensation of the 
moisture which found its way through the cracks of the inner 
door from the crowded room within. Entering this latter, we 
passed at once from a temperature of 30 degrees below zero to 
more than 100 degrees above, and found ourselves in an assem- 
blage of Cossack men and women, who gave a hearty greeting 
to their commander. A national dance was just beginning, and the 
three prettiest belles of the room were detailed to select us as 
partners. This dance begins with a slow promenade of the 
ladies, who then separate and choose partners, with whom they 
march up and down the room, each lady chanting the praises of 
her companion, winding up by kissing him on the forehead and 
each cheek, and singing at the same time : " Therefore I will kiss 
him thrice, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost," an 
invocation rather adapted to take away from the individual em- 
phasis of the salutation. They then separate, and the men in their 
turn choose their partners, and after praising their beauty and 
excellence, repeat the kissing, which seems to be the chief end of 
the ceremony. The music and songs of the Cossack are full of 
melody, though of a weird and barbaric kind. 

While at Kudara, Major Muravieff organized for our amuse- 
ment a white-hare battue, from which we brought back several 
good specimens of the fur of this arctic animal. The next day we 
returned to Troitzkozavsk. 

The eve of the Russian IsTew Tear we spent at a ball, at the 
house of Mr. Sabasnikoff, the leading merchant of Kiachta. 

CHAP, xxni.] SIBERIA. 093 

Here we saw so much refinement and elegance, as well as beauty, 
among the ladies, that it was difficult to remember that we were 
in eastern Asia, and on the confines of Tartary. Here, too, we 
enjoyed the same dance which we had seen at Kudara. "While 
at Troitzkozavsk I passed much time in studying the collection 
of Mr. Nicholas Popoff, a gentleman to whom I am indebted for 
much interesting information concerning the mineralogy of 
eastern Siberia, and from whom I obtained a choice suite of the 
beautiful aqua-marines and topazes of Nertschinsk. Mr. Popoff 
has also a large and very complete cabinet of the insects of north- 
eastern Asia. 

We had been detained for nearly a month at Troitzkozavsk, 
waiting for lake Baikal, 180 miles distant, to become permanently 
frozen. It is generally the middle of January before the ice 
forms to a thickness sufficient to prevent its being broken up by 
the wind s. On the 15th we learned by telegraph that sleighs had 
already crossed the lake, and after bidding good-bye to our many 
hospitable friends we started for Irkutsk. 

Henceforth our journey was to be made by post, and to facili- 
tate our progress Mr. Pfaffius kindly furnished us with what are 
called crown passports, which are intended only for officials 
travelling on Government business. These papers insure the 
immediate furnishing of relays and horses, while travellers who 
have only the ordinary passport are subjected to constant delays 
and extortion, and are everywhere at the mercy of grasping post- 

M. Gamier, having business in Irkutsk, decided to accompany 
us, taking with him his Cossack cook. This region partakes to a 
great extent of the dryness of the atmosphere of central Asia. 
The mountains lying to the north condense the moisture brought 
from the Arctic ocean, leaving but little to be precipitated on the 
plateau and its northern declivity, and this in the intense cold 
falls in dry, flat crystals to a depth of only an inch or two. The 
first part of our journey had consequently to be made in wheeled 
vehicles. When we were ready to start we found the cook too 
drunk to keep his seat upon the baggage, and after he had rolled 
out once or twice, at the risk of being left on the road, we hit 
upon the expedient of tying him to his place. 

The first stage of our journey brought us to the Selenga river, 

394 AOSOSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap, xxtii, 

whose frozen surface enabled us to change our wagons for sleighs. 
The valley of the Selenga is broad, and bordered with high terra- 
ces, which seem to form a continuation of the northern edge of 
the plateau of Tartary, and to connect this with the plains of 
Siberia. Ther e is considerable cultivation in this valley, notwith- 
standingj he factthat th e mean annu al temperature is the freezing 
point ofjivat ei. After two days and nights we came in sight of 
lake Baikal. This great inland sea, more than 400 miles in 
length, and enclosed between lofty walls, burst on our view at 
sunrise, a sheet of glistening ice, whose opposite cliffs, about 
thirty miles distant, seemed to be within cannon-shot, so deceptive 
is the clear atmosphere of this country. For several miles from 
the shore the surface was very rough. The ice of previous freez- 
ings, driven landward by the wind after each breaking -up, was 
piled in rugged masses of white and transparent green. Beyond 
this broad belt, which looked like the tumultuous waves of an 
angry sea, extended a clear expanse of fresh, dark ice, out of which 
the cliffs of the opposite shore appeared to rise, their base and the 
"white rough border being hidden by the convexity of the earth. 

This country was visited on the 31st of December, 1861, and 
January 1st and 2d of 1862, by a violent earthquake. A flat 
alluvial tract on the shore of the Baikal, near the mouth of the 
Selenga, was submerged, drowning the herds and population, 
and converting the land into a bay of the lake. The shock, 
which was felt severely at Irkutsk and Kiachta, was noticed 
south of Urga in Mongolia, and seems to have been perceptible 
over the distance of "700 miles from north to south. 

After travelling a few miles along the brow of the bluff we 
came to the post-house at Posoloskoi Monasturi. This house is 
an ancient turreted building, erected in memory of an officer who 
was murdered by the Buraets about the middle of the iTth cen- 

The journey across the lake was the most exciting stage of our 
trip. At first we bounded at a rapid rate over the rough border, 
between great blocks of ice, whose transparent green gave them 
the appearance of immense crystals of aqua-marine. We came at 
last upon the smooth ice, the dark glassy surface of which stretched 
away as far as the eye could reach. Over tliis the horses bounded 
at a terrific pace. "We seemed to be gliding in some mysterious 


manner along the surface of a calm sea, and the strangeness of 
our situation was occasionally heightened by loud reports, which 
echoed like thunder through the air. These were caused by 
cracks, which are repeatedly forming in cold weather, cleaving 
tHe^TcY~surface for many miles. We were several times obliged 
tolnaEe~idetou"rs to avoid these, where they were either too wide 
to jump with the" sleigh, or where one side had been raised two or 
three feet higher than^the other. In the middle of the lake an 
enterprising Russian had established a restaurant upon the ice, 
where we took a welcome dinner. 

When we reached the opposite side we were detained for some 
time waiting for the moon to rise, as our road lay for several 
miles further along the shore of the lake, where travelling in the 
dark was not considered safe. By the time the moon rose a 
number of other travellers had collected at the station, and as 
we left terra firma we found a procession of five or six sleighs. 
The one occupied by St. John and myself, being the lightest, 
was allowed the rather doubtful honor of taking the lead, to test 
tlie strength of the surface. The route was by no means free 
fi-om danger ; the water of the lake having sunk, the ice in many 
places remained without other support than its own stifiness ; 
and the hollow sound which reverberated beneath us, as we 
passed over these places, while it gave a timely warning to those 
behind us to profit by our experience if we should disapi^ear, was 
by no means re-assuring to us. Two or three times the covering 
broke and horses and sleigh went through, bringing up, fortu- 
nately, however, in each case, on a second sheet of ice, which had 
formed two or three feet beneath. These accidents sometimes 
happen in places when an under sheet has not had time to form. 
Few years pass without some lives being lost in crossing the 

Daybreak found us travelling over the inhabited plains, on the 
eastern side of the Angara river. Here, for the first time, we 
witnessed one of the most beautiful phenomena in nature — a 
Siberian mist. A thick haze filled the atmosphere, and disap- 
peared with almost the first rays of the rising sun. As it lifted 
like a dissolving veil, a feathery coating of ice crystals covered 
every object far and near; the surface of the endless fields of 
snow, our sleigh, the backs of our horses, the clothing of the 

396 ACROSS AMEBIOA. AND ASIA. [chap, xxvri. 

driver, and the forest from the roots of the trees to the tips of 
the smallest twigs — everything that the eye fell upon was cov- 
ered with a downy coating of these flat crystals, reflecting every- 
where the rays of the sun, like a universal incrustation of dia- 
monds. The telegraph wires over our heads had the appearance 
of a jewelled cord an inch thick. No description can convey an 
idea of the enchanting appearance of this scene, which was visi- 
ble but a few minutes, and then vanished with almost magic 
suddenness before the first warmth of the sun. This phenomenon 
is apparently caused by the evaporation of the overflowing water 
of the Angara into an atmosphere of a far lower temperature. 

Before noon we came in sight of Irkutsk, and soon entered the 
streets of this city, which is the capital of eastern Siberia. Here, 
also, we found that a letter written by General Vlangali, from 
Peking, had insured us a good reception. We were taken by 
our new friends to a large and elegantly furnished house, which 
we were told was entirely at our service. 

Colonel , the chief of police, after accompanying us to 

our quarters, kindly placed his valet at our disposal during our 

On the day ol our arrival we paid our respects to General Sala- 
schnakofl', the acting governor-general, and afterward to his wife, 
who we found spoke English with remai'kable fluency. We also 
formed immediately a circle of acquaintances in the society of 
Irkutsk, which made our sojourn in that city extremely pleasant, 
besides giving us the means of judging somewhat of the social 
condition of a country which is considered the frozen tomb alike 
of Russian criminals and political reformers. 

At Irkutsk our party was compelled to break up. Mr. Walsh, 
having pressing business in St. Petersburg, left us about a week 
after our arrival, and made the journey with an ofiicer of high 
rank who was travelling as courier. Mr. St. John left a few 
days later in company with our friend. Major Muravieff, who also 
travelled in the same manner. Not being pressed for time, and 
wishing to stop at several points on the route, I remained behind, 
prolonging my stay in Irkutsk to nearly three weeks. 

The Russian conquests in northern Asia, begun by the daring 
robber Termak Timofeyef, and continued partly by the advance 
of an adventurous population and partly by organized warfare, 

CHAP. xxTii.] SIBERIA. 397 

would foi-m a chapter in history full of national romance, pvosent- 
ing many points of resemblance with the history of European 
conqviest in America. 

In 1579 the Russian family Stroganof, who had received froaa 
the Czar a large tract of land on both sides of the Ural moun- 
tains, applied to the robber Yermak for assistance against the 
Finnish Khan Chutschun, who ruled the country of Sibir, lying 
eastward on the Tobol and Irtisch rivers. Yermak, accepting 
the proposition, led his adventurous band of Cossacks of the 
Don i nto a^^^'ar, which resulted in the subjection of the Khanate 
Siberiart(r the Czar in 1587. The cities, Tobolsk, Tiuracn, 
Pelymsk, and Beresov, were founded and settled by Europeans. 
The spirit of conquest and adventure, once aroused, impelled the 
Cossacks ever further eastward, while hunters and traders, follow- 
ing qnickly in the steps of the conquerors, established settlements, 
which coniirmed Russia in possession of the territory. Already, 
in the beginning of the 17th century, the city of Tomsk had b(;- 
gun to exist as a frontier village. With an increased force the 
Cossacks pushed further and further toward the Pacific, found- 
ing Kuznetsk, Yeniseisk, Irkutsk, Selenginsk, and Nertschinsk, 
and never resting till they had reached the shores of Belirings 

At this period hunting, fishing, and trade in the valuable furs 
of the country, formed the basis of Siberian industry and woaltli. 

This immense region, Avith an area of more than 7,000,000 
square miles, stretching from the Ural mountains to the Pacific, 
and from the Altai mountains to the Arctic ocean, is not every 
where the frozen and inhospitable region that it is generally 
supposed to be. In the western part the Barabinsky steppe 
traverses it from north to south, a broad tract ot lowland extend 
in g from the Arctic ocean to the Aral and Caspian sea s. ' 

Within the limits of Siberia this plain is variable in character : 
grassy prairies alternate with reed marshes, fresh lakes with salt, 
and rich tracts of arable land with extensive forests of birch, ash, 
tillia, and conifers. Parts of this region are said in spring and 
summer to present the grandest of park scenery, where wooded hills 
rise from grassy plains covered with the most brilliant flowers. 
In these forests t he birches often attain a diameter of fourfcet. 
and a height of a hundred and fifty, and the pine much greater 

398 ACROSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. xxvn. 

dimensions. Large areas are covered to the de pth of more tha n 
two feet with a I'ertiie Ijlack soil resting~on" clayT^nd yieldin g 
I rom live to ten-fold. Grain ripens as far nortE as ther623. par- 
■ allel o^ latitude, the southern boundary of Siberia being about 
51 degrees N. 

South and east of this steppe the terraces of the north flank of 
the Altai mountains border the plain, jutting far into it like the 
bold headlands of a sea-coast. Here the tributaries of the Yen- 
essei, the Obi, and the Irtisch, rise among "great forests of birch, 
pine, and -willo-w ; and' poplars, elms, and Tartarian maple " over- 
hang their banks. 

As we go north from the Arctic circle we pass from boundless 
forests of firs into a region of salt steppes and endless swamps, 
where the soil is perpetually frozen to the depth of hundreds of 
feet. Here " the sui-face itself, not thawed before the end of 
June, is. again ice-bound by the middle of September, and deep 
snow covers the ground nine or ten months in the year. " " H^re 
endless snows and ice-covered rocks bound the horizon, nature 
lies shrouded in almost perpetual winter, life is a constant conflict 
with privation and with the terrors of cold and hunger — ^the 
grave of nature, which contains only the bones of another world. 
The people, and even the snow, smoke, and this evaporation is in- 
stantly changed into millions of needles of ice, which make a 
noise in the air like the sound of torn satin or thick silk. 

" The reindeer take to the forest, or crowd together for heat, and 
the raven alone, the dark bird of winter, still cleaves the icy 
air with slow and heavy wing, leaving behind him a long line of 
thin vapor, marking the track of his solitary flight. The trunks 
of the thickest trees are rent witha loud noise, masses of rock arc 
torn from their sites, the ground in the vallies is rent into yawning 
fissures, from which the waters that are underneath rise, giving off 
a cloud of vapor, and immediately become ice. The atmosphere be- 
comes dense, and the glistening stars are dimmed. The dogs out- 
side the huts of the Siberians burrow in the snow, and their howl- 
ing at intervals of six or eight hours interrupts the general silence 
of winter." * 

The climate of Siberia may be divided into winter and summer. 
In the far north the thermometer sinks in winter to 70 degrees 

* Mrs. Somerville, (juotins Admiral Wrangel. 



and even 120 degrees below zero. Even in the neighborhood of 
Irkutsk, where the mean anmial temperature is one-half a degree 
below the freezing point, the mean for the winter is zero, the 
thermometer at times sinking to below VO degrees. The waters 
of the Lena are covered alread y, in the end of Sep tember, with 
two feet of ice , and the Tobol and Irtisch are generan?T rozen 
Txom the 20th of October to the 20th of April. ~~ 

"~^* with returning spring thFI-ays of the sun" traversing the 
clear atmosphere produce almost a magic change in the appear- 
ance of nature. The melting snow is rapidly followed by bud- 
ding foliage and blooming flowers, the prairies are covered with 
grass, and the planted grain springs up and hastens to maturity ; 
m an incredibly short time a vast ice-bound region is converted 
into a blooming garden. The summers are favored by a con- 
tinued absence of frosts. Even at Yakutsk, in 62 degrees K lati- 
tude, the thermometer stands often at 77 degrees in the shade, 
and wheat and rye produce from fifteen to forty-fold, while dur- 
ing the winter the mercury is constantly frozen during two to 
three months.* 

It is a country where extremes of climate and of animal 
and plant life meet. In this connection Erman, in his " Travels in 
Siberia," says : " M. Turchaninov had discovered not less than 
1,000 phanerogamous plants in the neighborhood (Irkutsk), many 
of them of unknown species. In spite of the climate, t he flora of 
Irkutsk is richer, than that of Berlin, exhibiting the plants of 
warmer countries intermixed with those of the Arctic regionsT" 

" The wild peach of Nerchinsk is a true apricot (Pncniis Arme- 
niapa), and contains a very agreeable kernel in a fleshless envel- 
opes, while in the very vicinity of these products of a more 
favored climate we find the Siberian stone-pine and the dwarf 
birch of the polar circle in the highlands. The same holds good 
with regard to the fauna of the Trausbaikalian districts. We see 
the Tunguze mounted on his reindeer, pass the Buraet with his 
camel, and discover the tigers of China in the forests where the 
bear is taking his Avinter sleep. * * * * it would hardly be 
possible to point out any other country on the earth combinino- 
such remote extremes of physical character and condition." 

The population of Siberia, estimated at 4,270,938 souls, consists 

* lira. Someryille, " Physical Geography." 

400 AOBOSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap, sxvii. 

for the greater part of settlers and exiles of Russian origin. The 
remainder is made up of representatives of most of the fragments 
of tribes and races which, successively crowded off from the 
table-land, have sought refuge in the wilderness of northeastern 

According to their capacity, these remnants of races are either 
sinking out of sight before the contact with European civilization, 
or are leaving their aboriginal habits and rising in the social scale 
under the tolerant government and fostering influence of their 
conquerors. Some of these tribes Avhich have been long subject 
to Russian influence, especially the Mohammedans, are among 
the best elements of the population. 

Russia, having no capital puiiishment, has long been in the 
habit of banishing its criminals of all kinds to Siberia, the dis- 
tance of exile beyond the Ural mountains being generally pro- 
portionate to the degree of crime. -Those ofiences which in Eu- 
rope are punishable by death, are here expiated by labor in the 
mines of the far east. Thus, even treason is made to benefit the 
State, the offenders being- compelled to perform the work of re- 
claiming an immense part of the empire, and of laying the foun- 
dation of a state which is destined to rise to a position of great 
commercial impqrtance. Some crimes were made pu.nishable by 
life-long labor in the mines, but the extent of the penalty, in the 
greater number is limited to the restricting of the offender to a 
certain district, beyond which he is not allowed to wander, but 
within which he is free to labor in his own behalf, unhindered, 
but under the surveillance of an ever-active police. The absence 
of serfdom in Siberia has, perhaps, always nearly compensated 
for the lower standard of morality which must always exist 
among a population where the convict element predominates. 

The political agitators of Russia, and of Poland, have long 
supplied Siberia with a superior element of involuntary popula- 
tion; and the refined society which the traveller meets within 
the cities owes its existence in great part to this source. These 
exiles were often voluntarily accompanied by their wives and 
families, thus bringing with them the social cultivation of the 
highest circles in Europe. Instances of this devotion on the part 
of Polish women are of such common occurrence as scarcely to 
invite notice. During my stay at Irkutsk, when the Polish rebel- 

CH-VP. xxvii.] SIBERIA. ^01 

lion was furnisliing- exiles by tens of thousands!, tlic wives and 
families of tlie wealthier prisoners frequently arrived, ready to 
sign papers by which they condemned themselves to undergo 
the same life and hardships and complete isolation from the rest 
of the world, indeed to submit themselves and their children to 
the same fate as their husbands, so long as these should live. A 
still more touching thougli rarer instance occurred in the case 
of two young ladies, who had been engaged to Polish officers 
condemned to life-long labor in the mines. They arrived at 
Irkutsk, and entreated for permission to be married to the ofB- 
cers, and to sigu the papers which would for ever cut them off 
from the world, and condemn them also to perpetual prison-life. 
Their petition had to be submitted at St. Petersburg, and no 
decision had arrived when I left. 

The descendants of these exiles become firmly attached to the 
countiy. When they can afford it they travel through Europe, 
many of them going thither several times. Whenever I ques- 
tioned Siberian ladies as to their attachment to the country, they 
invariably replied that, although they were very fond of making 
long journeys to Paris and Italy, they would never choose for 
their home any other country than Siberia. And the attachment 
is even stronger with the peasant, who, next to his God and the 
Emperor, reverences the soil of his birth-place. I must confess 
that, having myself a strong partiality for climates where an in- 
tensely cold and clear atmosphere is rendered cheerful by an 
unclouded sun, I could appreciate this affection for a land where 
the snows of such a winter bury the germs of vegetation far be- 
low the surface, but not so deep as to prevent it from converting 
the country into a blooming garden in summer. Nor is the social 
life with all its gayety to be left out of consideration. 

The long-continued influx of political offenders, and the large 
number of Government officials, form in every city an extensive 
circle of cultivated society, which manages to compensate for the 
severity of the climate by a continued round of amusement. In 
Irkutsk, masquerades, the theatre, dinners and balls at private 
houses and at the club-rooms, left little to wish for in the way of 

I was struck with one peculiarity of Siberian society, whic'c 
however did not extend below the merchant class — this was the 

402 ACSOSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap, xxtii 

appareiitly greater amount of care bestowed upon the education 
of women. They seemed to be generally much better trained, 
not merely in music, but in foreign languages, and in the general 
branches of education. 

The bracing climate, and the great and varied resources of this 
sparsely-peopled country, have developed in its European pop- 
ulation a spirit of enterprise which resembles ip many respects 
that which is building up the States on our Pacific coast. Manu- 
factories of cloth and linen, of glass and iron, have long been 
established, and numerous similar branches of industry are every- 
where springing up. Mines of gold and silver, of copper, iron, 
and salt are worked by Government and by private enter- 
prise. There are extensive fisheries in the rivers and lakes, and 
the area of cultivated land is yearly increasing. During the 
s ummer, steamboats ply on all the large streams and on lak e 
Bai kal, rendering it possible to go from St. Petersburg to th e 
mouth of the Amoor by steam, across the entire breadth of the 
great continent, with less than a thousand miles of transit by . 
wagon. During the winter the roads are covered with long 
trains of sledges, by which the internal commerce and the trade 
between China and European Russia is carried on. Some idea 
of the commerce of Siberia may be formed from the sales at the 
fair of Irbit, which in 1859 amounted to 42,628,200 silver roubles. 
At Petropaulowski, on the Ishim, the central point for the trade 
with central Asia and western China, the imports in 1843 
amounted to 825,481 silver roubles, and the exports to 715,926. In 
1858 the imports from Tashkend amounted to 602,319 roubles, 
and the exports to 485,400. In 1862 the imports at this place 
amounted to 2,741,000 roubles, and the exports to 1,787,691 ; the 
difierences between the value of exports and imports being j)aid 
in Russian money. At Kiachta, in 1862, the value of imported 
tea amountedto more than eight and one-half million roubles.* 

* The I'ollowmg table shows the imports and exports at Kiachta for 1862 : 

IMTOETS. Koiibles (silver). 

Tea 7,851,445 

Biick Tea, 897,311 

Cattle, 128,950 

Sugar, 104,322 

Leather, 49,118 

Cotton stuffs, 27,274 

Furs, S>4,51S 

expohts. Eoubles (silver). 

Cloth 1,951,767 

Cotton fabrics, 1,485,976 

Furs, , 





Metal "wares, 




Woollen wares, 


Flax and Hemp fabrics, . 


Coral ornaments, 


CJLSP. xxvn. SIBERIA. j^03 

It certainly is a remarkable fact, that of two shi p ments of the 
same tea from Han-kau, the one going by sai ling vessel to Eng- 
land and St. Petersburg, and the other by the long land route — 
t hrough China on boats and mules, through Tartary on cam els, 
t hrough Siberia on sleighs, and through Russia by railroad — that 
which has taken the land route costs the same, or leas, iii ^tT 
Petersburg as that which has gone by sea . Tliis is owin ^ in part 
to the excess of duty at the Atlanti c port of Russia over that on 
t he Siberian frontier, and partly, perhaps, To the fact that th e t ca 
which takes the ocean route requires more manipulation before 
shipment than the other. 

The tea trade alone between China and Europe is very large, 
and seems, when taken in connection with many other reasons, to 
warrant the belief that the near future will see a railroad along; 
this, important route . It would be almost impossible to over-esti- 
mate from a national commercial point of view the benefits which 
would follow its construction. At its two ends would lie the 
most densely-peopled market-lands of the world, while hardly a 
hun dred miles of its whole length would be in regions which arc 
not already productive. Its easterly division would traverse the 
fertile and closely-occupied lowland of China and cross the Yangtz' 
and Yellow rivers, the chief commercial arteries of the empire, 
near their outlets to the sea. It would pass over the plateau of 
central Asia, a grazing land which from the most ancient times 
has supported immense herds of cattle. And the Siberian link 
would provide an inlet and outlet to a country Avhich has all the 
resources, agricultural and mineral, necessary to the formation 
of a great state, and where these resources are already undergo- 
ing a rapid and healthy interior development. The distance from 
Shanghai to Kazan, the eastern terminus of the Russian railroad, 
is about 4,600 miles, and the total distance from Shanghai to St. 
Petersburg -5,600. 

At the Chinese end an altitude of about 5,000 feet above the 
sea would have to be overcome in ascending to the summit of the 
plateau. This elevation is distributed over about 125 miles. 

The plateau itself presents no engineering difficult ies, and a grad- 
ual desce nt from the northern edge could be obtained" th r ough th e 
valle ys of the Tula and Orkhon to lake Baikal . Nor are there 
any important obstacles on the plains of Siberia and in the passes 

404 AOBOSS AMERICA AND ASIA. Lchap. xxvir. 

of the TJral moiintains, unless such may exist in the teiidency of 
the rivers to form extensivejrozen overflow s. Aside from inter- 
national diflBculties, the construction of such a road -would, not- 
n^ithstanding its greater length, seem to be a simpler problem than 
that of the now nearly finished Union Pacific line, for the Euro- 
pean-Asiatic road, besides connecting the two greatest markets 
of the world, would be sure of an immediate and extensive way- 
traffic, because in the vast regions it would traverse all the ele- 
ments necessary thei'eto already exist. 

During the present century a spirit of enterprise, especially in 
the working of gold deposits, has caused the accumulation of 
large fortunes in many parts of the country. This has been at- 
tended to a certain extent by the extravagance and the vices 
which were for years prominent in California and Australia. The 
two great evils of the country, which run through all_£la55eSj 
are gainbling and drinking to excess. I know of no nation in 
~-\vl]Tcird runkenness assumes such frightful proportions as in thi^ 
eastern part of the Russian empire . During my stay in Irkutsk 
a gentleman told me7in illustration of this fact, that immediately 
after a reduction of the Government tax on spirits, thirty-five 
men and women in a village of 500 souls had killed themselves 
with drinking in one week. Another instance, related to me by a 
Siberian lady, was, that one of her female servants, liaving ob- 
tained leave of absence under pretence of visiting her dying 
mother, had gone directly to a drinking shop, where she lay 
four days in an incessant state of drunkenness. But another most 
absurd example was one which came under my own observation. 

The reader will remember that on leaving Kiachta we were 
obliged to tie the cook fast in the cari-iage. M. Garnier, having 
decided to return to Troizkozavsk, had taken the precaution to 
send this man the day before with a note to the chief of police, 
requesting that the bearer might be put in prison until he should 
be sent for. When everything was ready for the journey, and 
M. Garnier had taken his place in tlie sleigh, the cook arrived 
under special charge of a policeman, and perfectly sober. My 
friend was delighted at the success of his manoeuvre, but having 
forgotten some small article of baggage he sent the man into his 
room for it. Entering the house about a minute afterward, I 
found the rascal just putting down empty a decanter which a 

CHAP, xxvn.] SIBERIA. 405 

few minutes before had been nearly full of our choicest brandy. 
The fellow had made the best of his opportunity, and before the 
sleigh started was of course as drunk as when we left Kiachta. 

I was told that in Ivamtchatka the inhabitants are in the habit 
of using a fungus in their liquor, which not only increases the 
intoxicating effect, but has also the advantage that as soon as a 
man begins to get sober a glass of pure water will make him as 
drunk as before. 

It is said that in delirium tremens the Russian, instead of being 
tormented with visions of snakes, and other animals, sees only 
little devils of the conventional type. " He has seen the little 
devils," is a common phrase in explaining that a man is in the 
last stages oi^runkeiftiess. 

The vice of gambling seems to be even more widely spread than 
that I have just described, since it pervades not only all classes, 
but both sexes. The Siberian ladies are great adepts at cards, a fact 
which my companions and myself learned to our cost on the very 
threshold of the country. After dinner, soon after our arrival at 
Kiachta, we each of us, in the course of an evening, lost to our 
hostess at whist nearly the whole sum which, for the purpose of 
avoiding the appearance of singularity, we had calculated on 
devoting to play. During the whole game the lady kept up a 
constant fire of sparkling conversation, but was such an excellent 
player that, while our attention was constantly diverted, she kept 
the run of the cards perfectly, and had at the close every detail 
in her memory. 

It is hardly considered proper for ladies before marriage to 
play for money, but they certainly make up for the privation 
immediately after. Many of them begin in the morning to make 
their calls, and drive from house to house till they happen at 
some friend's to find a gathering large enough to form a party at 
their favorite game of hazard stut-kolka. Even at balls the band 
plays to almost empty dancing-fioors, the stronger excitement of 
the card-tables drawing away nearly all the guests. One lady 
told me that, although she was very fond of cards, she played 
them quite as much in self-defence as for the pleasure, " because," 
she added, " while my husband is losing at the club, I am just as 
likely to be winning from his opponent's wife." 

In a country where gambling is so universal, one expects to 


find every foreign and native device that has been invented for 
games of chance, but I was told of one for which I think none 
will dispute the honor of invention with the Siberians. In 
the prisons, where gaming is strictly forbidden, the inmates resort 
to the following curious means of indulging in their favorite 
propensity. Each man carries in a corked quill a select speci- 
men of an insect, which he is never at a loss to find without 
going further than his own clothing. The game consists in put- 
ting these animals in the centre of a circle chalked on the table, 
and betting as to which will first reach the circumference. Each 
man knows his own racer, which he has trained with care, feeding it 
in certainly the most afiectionate manner by holding the open 
end of the quill against his wrist or temple. 

The habits of luxury in Siberia seem out of all proportion to 
the salaries of the official class, which are so absurdly small that 
they will scarcely buy the common necessaries of life. The offi-__ 
cial corruption which prevailed throughout the empire during 
the reign of !N"icholas, and which still exists, is owin g a.lrnost 
entirely to this insufficiency of pay . 

During my journey I incurred a lasting debt to the Siberians 
for their hospitality. I could not help thinking that this was 
extended to me quite as much in my character of an American as 
individually. It was pleasant to meet everywhere with an expres- 
sion of the most cordial feeling toward the United States, and 
I was often surprised to hear in this distant part of Asia a very 
just appreciation of the causes and probable results of the war 
which was then going on at home. Everywhere there existed the 
strongest sympathy for the North, and a general good feeling had 
become widely spread in every part of the empire by the 
accounts of the cordial reception which the Russian fleet had 
met with in the United States. The position occupied by the 
slavery question in our struggle had something to do in influenc 
ing the feelings of a nation in which the emancipation of serfs 
had recently become an accomplished fact ; somewhat was due 
also to the many points of resemblance between the rebellion in 
America and the one then being crushed in Poland. 



Mt departure from Irkutsk was delayed several days, owing 
to tte difficulty in obtaining a comfortable kibitka, or travelling 
sleigh. This vehicle is of all sizes, entirely open, or with a hood 
behind, or completely covered. It has only a single pak of long 
runners, and, to prevent upsetting, is provided with a guard- 
frame, which, starting from the body of the sleigh in front, 
spreads out some twelve or eighteen inches from the sides at the 
back end. As soon as the vehicle tips, this framework touches 
the ground, and must break before it can capsize. 

Every part of the kibitka is thoroughly braced, in a manner to 
secure the greatest possible strength, as well as lightness, with- 
out too great rigidity ; precautions which are absolutely neces- 
sary, since these sleighs are expected, before wearing out, to 
make several journeys of from two to four thousand miles, at the 
rate of ten and sometimes even of fourteen miles per hour, over 
roads that are anything but smooth. 

Expecting to travel alone I waited until I found a very light 
sleigh, which was not much more than wide enough for one per- 

The postal service in Russia is, in many respects, the most per- 
fect in the world, considering the immense network of roads it 
covers on both continents. In some parts of the empire it is 
given under contract to private enterprise, but through Siberia 
it remains in the hands of Government. Relay-stations are 
established at distances of from eight to fifteen miles, under the 
charge of postmasters, whose duty it is to provide horses and 
attend to the mails. 

There are three ways of travelling — by buying a ticket as pas- 
senger with the mail conveyance ; by purchasing a common order 
for horses ; or, finally (if travelling on Government business), by 
havin<T a Government order, which cannot be bought. In the 

408 ACROSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap. xxvn. 

first of these methods, which is very cheap, costing only 1^ kopeks 
per werst, the traveller is obliged to go directly through, and is, 
moreover, likely to he associated with not over-pleasant com- 
pany.* In the second, with the common permit, he is exposed 
to the extortion of postmasters, and to delays which may lengthen 
his journey by weeks, unless he satisfies the greed of these offi- 

The much-coveted Government order admits of no delay, and 
requires the furnishing of horses in preference to everything but 
the imperial mail. The traveller is allowed as many horses as he 
is willing to pay for, at the rate of 1^ kopek each per werst east 
of Tiumen, and west of that point at 3 kopeks each. Through 
the kindness of the Governor-General of eastern Siberia I ob- 
tained a Government order, which relieved me from, the anxiety I 
had felt at the prospect of a long journey through a country of 
whose language I knew nothing, and where at every station I 
would have been exposed to the most annoying delays and impo- 

Before taking final leave of Irkutsk, I would express my deep 
sense of obligation to the Governor-General of eastern Siberia, 
to the Chief of Police of Irkutsk, and to Count Paul Anosoff 
for their private hospitality, no less than for their official assist 
ance, without which my journey would hardly have been possible, 
and also to Colonel Reingard and M'r. Andre Razguildieff. To 
Prince Krapotkin I am indebted for much valuable information 
concerning eastern Tartary and western Manchuria, countries 
through which he had travelled in disguise. 

On the evening of the 6th of February I left Irkutsk, and 
started on my lonely journey westward. Following the Russian 
custom, I had my baggage spread out . over the bottom of the 
sleigh and covered with a quantity of straw, and placing over 
this a Japanese mattrass and a number of fur robes, I secured a 
bed which was both soft and thick enough to deaden the shocks 
of rapid travelling over a rough road. A number of large pillows 
were placed at the back, to raise and support the shoulders and 
head, fo r the Ru ssians- ha ve dis covered that a half reclining po s- 
ture is themost convenient m tra velling , smce eveiy muscle is at 

* The kopek being eqnal to two-thirds of a cent, and the werat to two-thirds of a mile, 
the fere by post is equal to l>f cents per mile. 

UHAP. xxvm.] SIBERIA. 409 

rest, and yet the elevation of t he_head jermits a view of the sur - 
ro unding scenery . "^ """ 

Having learned by our rough experience in Tartary how ne- 
cessary it is to clothe one's self in the manner which the natives of 
the country have found to be the best, I had taken every Russian 
precaution against the cold, and had encased myself in an outfit 
which I can recommend to travellers as a sure protection in the 
most extreme climate. 

Over a pair of thick and loose woollen trousers and a woollen 
shirt I put on the close-fitting robe worn by the peasants, reach- 
ing from the neck nearly to the ankles, and made of sheep-skin, 
with the wool inside, and over this a loose robe of the fur of 
the Arctic fox, with the hair also on the inner side. My feet 
were encased in very loose boots made of felt, and reaching nearly 
to the knee. A Chinese skull-cap of felt, with fur lappets, pro- 
tected the head and ears, while a long knitted comforter, covering 
the whole face below the eyes, after being crossed behind the 
neck and tied under the chin, protected the nose, throat, and lungs. 
On getting hito the sleigh the traveller puts on over all his other 
garments a wrapper of deer-skin, with the hair outside to break 
the force of the wind, and furnished with loose sleeves and a col- 
lar, which when raised envelops the head and face. Lying down 
and putting his feet and legs in a large wolf-skin bag , he pulls over 
him a fur sleigh-robe which reaches nearly to the chin. He is now 
ready to defy the greatest severities of even a Siberian winter. 

The cold, which had been increasing every day, seemed on the 
first night out of Irkutsk to have reached a more intense degree 
than I had yet experienced, and before midnight my hands and feet 
were nearly frozen. At the first station I stufled my boots with 
dry bay, and was fortuiiate enough to find a woman with aji am- 
j)le mufi", which I bought for a few roubles, and found to be p)re- 
ferable to any gloves. After this, during the whole journey, I 
never for a minute sutt'ered from cold. The nose is always the 
most difficult part of the body to protect ; but by pulling the com- 
forter about an inch forward, and holding it there_till it stifiens 
with the frozen breath, the whole face is kept warm by the heat 
of the breath. 

Findinf myself thoroughly defended against Jhe severity of 
the weather, I now began to enjoy the wonderful night-scene 

410 ACROSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap, xxtiii. 

■which surrounded me. Three bounding horses carried the sleigh 
at almost railway speed over the road, dashing in rapid succession 
through groves of trees, through fields and forests,; and over the 
hills and valleys of an uneven country, whose face was covered 
with a deep mantle of snow, rounding and softening all its out- 
lines, and illuminating the whole scene with the tender light re- 
flected from its pure surface. Overhead the stars shone with 
flashing lustre through an atmosphere whose purity is equalled 
only on the higher and dryer parts of the earth. After a time 
I allowed myself to yield to the call of the system, for sleep, feel: 
ing that protected as I was there was no danger. 

On awakening I was not a little startled at being unable to 
open my eyes. Feeling of the lids I found them perfectly sensi- 
ble, but the lashes were frozen together and to the edge of thg 
comforter. After fruitless attempts . to force them apart, , I 
enveloped my head in the collar of the outer cloak, and grad- 
ually succeeded, by breathing, in raising the temperature suf- 
ficiently to thaw the icy chains. On looking at the thermometer 
I found the mercury frozen, and even the brandy in my bottle had 
assumed an oily consistency. At the station we reached before 
sunrise I got out for breakfast. Having been warned of the 
impossibility of getting any decent food outside of two or three 
large cities, I had taken an abundant supply of tea, coffee, and 
sugar, and dinners for twenty-four days in the shape of twenty- 
four plates of soup, each one frozen into a separate cake, and 
enough bread to last for several days. Almost every Russian 
house owns a samovar, or urn, for boiling water, which is heated by 
charcoal in a tube extending from top to bottom. This is the only 
thing, excepting plates and glasses, and other rough table-ware, 
that the traveller can count upon at Russian inns, or at least in 
Siberia. The samovar was heated, and in a few minutes from the 
time of my arrival I had made a sufiicient breakfast on six or 
seven large glasses of tea and a couple of slices of dry bread, and I 
adhered to this bill-of-fare during the rest of the journey. There is 
jiothing so refreshing and so sustaining in a cold climate as good 

]5IaeOea . Its^ti mulating effect is both gentler. and far more 

lasting than that of spirits^ On the way from Kiachta toTCrkutsk 
we had stopped to make tea at every station, and the temptation 
was very strong for me to continue the habit ; but an easy calcula- 

CHAP, xxvin.] SIBERIA. 411 

lion showed that a delay of half an hour at every relay -would 
lengthen my journey by more than a week, and I resolved to 
confine myself to three stoppages daily. 

The spirit thermometer outside of the station marked 45 
degrees, or ahout 70 degrees below zero of Fahrenheit, while 
within doors the heat could not have been less than 85 or 90 
degrees (F. ), involving a plunge from extreme to extreme which 
is not only uncomfortable but dangerous. In entering these 
station-houses it is necessary to leave in the sleigh the outer deer- 
skin robe, as the low temperature of the fur would cause it to be 
drenched with the condensing vapors of the hot rooms to an 
extent that would render it as stiff as a board on re-exposing it 
to the outside air. I was now entirely among strangers ; my 
only companions, the drivers, changed at every relay with their 
horses ; and understanding, as I did, nothing of the language, the 
long journey loomed up before me like an impracticable task, an 
endless succession of strange postmasters, and I resolved if pos- 
sible to take in some Russian as a fellow-passenger. 

During the morning of the second day, just after I had entered 
the court-yard of a station, the postmaster appeared, and to my 
delight addressed me in German. 

" You are going through to Moscow ?" he asked. 

" Yes," I replied. 

" Could you take a fellow-traveller ?" 

" I have every wish to be accommodating ; still it depends upon 
vv^ho the traveller may be." 

" Oh ! I will guarantee her sociability." 

" Her ? the traveller is a woman, then !" 

" Yes, sii'," replied the postmaster, " a young lady who is 
travelling westward on very pressing business, but whose kibitka 
has broken down, and I am unable to give her another. The only 
alternative she has, if you will allow her an alternative, is between 
travelling in your sleigh or in that of a Russian priest who has 
just arrived." 

" How is it possible," I asked, with astonishment, " that any 
lady could hesitate in choosing between a perfectly strange for- 
eigner and a man of God ? " 

The postmaster disappeared to gain some further light on this 
strange proceeding. 

412 A0B0S8 AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap, xxviii; 

ISTow, in making a resolution to take the first respectable travel- 
ler I could find, I had made an express reservation against lady 
passengers ; but here was a prospect of being wedged into a nar- 
row sleigh I did not know how many days and nights, with'a wo- 
man of whose appearance or proportions I had not the slightest; 
idea. It was certainly an alarming prospect for a bachelor. But be- 
fore I had time for further meditation the postmaster re-appeared, 
and with a half-suppressed smile remarked that the lady preferred 
the stranger, as she was not partial to Russian priests. There 
was no getting out of it; and with the best grace possible, under 
the circumstances of my ignorance of her size, I sent the land- 
lord to assure the lady that I should be delighted to have her 
share my sleigh. After her baggage had been carefully stowed' 
with mine in the bottom of the kibitka, and her own bedding' 
distributed over mine, my fellow-passenger aj)peared, but wrapped 
in such quantities of fiirs and' so closely veiled that itwas'im- 
possible to judge of either her age or appearance ; but just before 
getting into the sleigh she raised her veil to' salute me, and per- 
haps also to take a good look at her travelling companion, and 
in doing so exhibited a young and reriiarkably beautiful face. I 
inwardly congratulated myself upon not having adhered to a reso- 
lution which would have deprived me of so charming a' compan- 
ion. People may say what they will, but whether in Siberia or 
in a !N"ew York street-car,- I have observed that a pretty face 
commands more willing attention than a plain one. After travel- 
ling for half a mile or more I broke the silence by some common- 
place remark in German. My companion shook her head. " She 
speaks French," I thought ; " all Russian ladies speak French ; " 
so 'I repeated what I had said in that language. Again she 
shook her head. " Perhaps she understands' Italian ; the Russian 
ladies .-ire great musicians, and generally' study Italian ; " so I re- 
iterated my attempt in Tuscan, and then in English. But each 
time there came that ominous shake of the head. I was now in 
despair ; the idea of travelling for days, or perliaps weeks, with a 
companion, but without' having a single expression in common, 
was'too aggravating to' be bonie. I knew one Russian word — that 
for horse. Leaning forward I pointed to the animals and ' called 
dut""loshada! loshada!" The effect was electric. She saw that 
it was the only word between us, and the whole ridiculousness 

CHAP, xrrar.] SIBERIA. 413 

of our situation presented itself to her mind as it had to mine. After 
a hearty and musical laugh, she talked for some time in Russian, 
and the ice which had threatened to separate us was at last broken. 

I think it was during this day, or the following one, that our 
road lay along the brow of one of the lofty terraces which flank 
the Altai mountains on the north. The country on every side 
was covered with a dense forest. On our right hand it was de- 
pressed far below us, and the eye ranged over the unbroken sur- 
face of the wilderness, which extended to the horizon, and as I 
knew contimied like a boundless ocean ever further and further 
northward till it reached the limit of trees around the pole. 
These northern solitudes still inspire one with something of the 
mysterious fascination which we see in the ideas of the ancients 
concerning the Hyperboreans, and the Arimasps, who fought 
with the Griffons for golden sands in this land of perpetual night. 
From where we stood there was but a single transition between 
us a nd the pole, one vast and gloomy forest, giving way at its 
northern limit to perpetual ice. Although the forest disappeared 
under a distant horizon, i could trace in my mind its changes 
toward the north ; birches and maples becoming ever fewer, their 
places supplied by lofty pines, and these dwindling in stature and 
at last giving way altogether to the more hardy firs of the Arctic 
swamps, and these in turn yielding to the polar tundras which 
cover the frozen tomb of the mammoth. 

During the day we came to a long and steep descent from the 
terrace. Already, before we reached the brow, the driver whipped 
up his horses, and in going down the hill kept them on the run. 
The road'was as smooth as glass, and our speed terrific ; but as 
soon as the traces began to slacken, or the sleigh to swerve in the 
slightest, the driver again used the whip. This is unavoidable 
on hills where the smooth surface is frozen so hard that the run- 
ners take no hold upon the snow, and is the only way of avoiding 
either being upset or going down hill backward, dragging the 
horses. I must confess that this coasting experience on the first 
long declivity fairly made my hair stand on end. When the 
sleigh struck in the deep cross-trough (with which every long 
descent ends in Siberia) it bounded two or three feet into the air, 
leaving my companion, myself, and all our baggage mixed up in 
an almost inextricable mass. 

414r ACBOSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap, xxnir. 

For many days the journey was devoid of remarkable incidents. 
Travelling uninterruptedly day and night, and leaving the sleigh 
only long enough to take our three slight meals, I kept few 
notes, and lost altogether the run of dates. The general appear- 
ance of the country,' it s succession of great f orests, of hills and 
pl aing, of the valleys of great rivers where cultivated fields lay 
hidd en under the white cloak of winter, its countless villages 
bimed in snow up to the roofs of the houses, with excavated 
streets — all these remain impressed upon my memory rather like 
a vision of an enchanted land than as the real scenery upon an 
actual jour ney. 1 remember one or two terfiETe snow-storms 
which fell with blinding force and with a fierce wind. 

The moon waxed full and waned, and still my companion occu- 
pied her place in my sleigh. When she would leave I had as yet 
no idea ; I was not anxious that it should be soon. In the mean- 
time I made progress in Russian. Every day added a few words 
or phrases to my vocabulary, until finally we were able to bring 
a little language to the aid of conversation, which was at first 
kept up only by signs. It was sometimes not easy to make out 
whether my companion was asleep or awake, especially in the 
early morning, nor was it an easy t^sk to make preparations on 
my own part for finding this out. In the first place, there was 
the usual necessity of thawing out one's eyelashes ; it was only 
after this, and pulling down the great collar of the outer 
robe, and rolling over on the left side, that I caught sight of my 
companion, or rather a mountain of shapeless furs towering 
beside and above me, and with a small spiral column of vapor 
issuing from the top like that which betrays the wintering- 
place of a bear. How was one to know whether sleep or wakeful- 
ness existed under these motionless robes. The mother of invention 
taught me a ready expedient : lighting a cigarette I pufFed vigor- 
ously till I felt sure that every fold and crack was penetrated by 
the ai'oma. It was a sure test ; for my companion, like all Russian 
ladies, was passionately fond of smoking, and never could resist 
the temptation. K she was awake, a gentle movement was soon 
perceptible, ending after a while in the appearance of a small 
handTvith a cigarette, stretched out to be lighted. In this way thie 
itime passed smoothly enough, which is more than I can say of the 
iroad ; the endless succession of cross-troughs sent us bounding 

CHAP, xxvm.] SIBERIA. 415 

every no^ and then into the air to come down with a shock that 
entirely destroyed the equilibrium of our arrangements, which 
required very delicate adjustment in a sleigh not more than three 
feet and a half wide at the back and two in front. 

But it is now time that I should relieve my companion from 
the rather embarrassing position which she must hold in the 
reader's mind, when considered simply as the co-occupant of a 
strange gentleman's sleigh during so long a journey. Her 
strange history, which I learned in part from her, I will give as I 
afterward heard it more fully stated at St. Petersburg. This 
lady was the daughter of a noble family of "Warsaw, of which 
she and a brother were the only children. The latter had be- 
come an officer in the Polish army, and had been made prisoner 
imder circumstances which caused him to be convicted of high 
treason and sentenced to life-long ■ labor in the frozen mines of 
eastern Siberia. This punishment, which seemed to the aged 
parents and sister more awful than death, was rendered more 
painful by the fact that no communication could be held with the 
exile, who might fall under the fatigues of the long and terrible 
journey across Asia. In order to give comfort and companion- 
ship to her brother during his journey, and to bring back news 
of his safe arrival, this girl, scarcely eighteen years old, formed 
the resolution to accompany him, a point which she carried 
against all opposition. In company with a large number of 
political exiles and convicts of every class, this young woman, 
who had hitherto seen nothing but the comforts of home and the 
gayeties of a brilliant capital, made the long and terrible journey, 
wading for months through the snows of Siberia, exposed daily 
and nightly to the hardships and filth of the prison stations, and 
surroimded by scenes of suffering. After seeing her brother 
arrive safely at his destination, without waiting to recover from 
the fatigues she had gone through, she started immediately on the 
long journey to Omsk on some busmess connected with the exile's 
condition, and it was on this trip that the breaking of her sleigh 
threw me into her company. This devotion, and the circum- 
stances by which it was surrounded, cannot but recall to the 
reader the touching story of Elizabeth, whose life was in the 
same land, and whose journey was partly over the same road. 

Wishing to rest for a few hours at Omsk, I drove to a hotel and 

416 ACROSS AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap, xxviii. 

ordered dinner. During the meal a soldier arrived and de- 
manded my passport. To my horror I now remembered that I had 
left this behind, at a station some distance off. In its stead I 
handed over the Government order for horses, and told the officer 
that I was travelling from Peking to the United States on official 
business. With this information he departed. Before long he re- 
appeared, stating that the chief of police had himself been in Pe- 
king, and would be happy to see me. Accompanying the police- 
man I proceeded through the city, and was brought into a large 
public building, and in this into a room which I instantly perceived 
to be a police court. About fifty men and women of the lowest 
class were standing in a circle, while at a table there were seated 
several clerks, and an officer in the uniform of a colonel. After 
informing me that this officer was the chief of police, my guide 
went up to him and whispered something in his eai-. Very much 
to my surprise, the man who had invited me on the score of hav- 
ing been in Peking merely looked up, and after a long stare went 
on with the business in hand. Not having been asked to sit 
down, I walked to the nearest chair and seated myself, but was 
immediately forced by a Cossack to stand up. Being indignant 
at this treatment I went up to the chief of j)olice, and finding 
that he understood neither English, French, nor German, told 
him in broken Russian that as he ha d been in Peking he pro- 
b ably spoke CEinesei "In the best mandarin that I could muster 
I explaihed the loss of my passport, and demanded to know"why 
he had brought me thither to be treated as a co mmon c riminal. 

Not understanding a word of what I said, the official became 
furious, and ordered me into arrest. As the prison-keeper started 
to take me from the room I shook him off, and demanded 
of the clerks whether any of them spoke German. As one of 
them gave me a nod, which was intended not to be seen by. his 
master, I turned to him and said, " Tell the chief of police that 
I am bearing dispatches from the United States minister at 
Peking to my Government at Washington, and that he will be 
held to account at St. Petersburg for every hour I am delayed." 
The old man after some hesitation . interpreted my language. 
The chief of police answered that he did not believe it ; that I was 
there witliout any passport, and had been travelling in company 
with a sister of an exile ; in short, that he believed me to be a 

CHAi'. xxviii.] SIBERIA. 417 

dangerous character. If I was carrying dispatches, why did I 
not show them ? Taking from my pocliet a large envelop ad- 
dressed to the home Government, and bearing the seal of the 
legation, I handed it over to the official, who made a move to 
break the seals ; but on second thought handed it back to me after 
merely examining the outside. I was now allowed to depart, 
though without any apology for the treatment I had received. 
This unpleasant episode was the only official annoyance that I 
underwent on the whole journey. 

My companion having stopped at Omsk, I was now alone. 
The country from this point on, and, indeed, the whole region of 
the Obi river and its tributaries, is much more thickly peopled 
than eastern Siberia. We were continually passing. through vil- 
lages where the streets Avere cut out of the deep snow, which 
had drifted over the roofs of the houses. These Russian villages 
consist altogether of log houses, generally not more than one 
story high. As the heavy frosts throw the buildings out of pos i- \ 
tion, the older ones are often so inclined to one side that it is 
often no easy task to cross a room where the smooth and greasy 
floor is sometimes at an angle of from fifteen to twentyrfive de- 
grees with the hor izon. In the waiting-room of the post-houses 
the walls are generally decorated with one or two coarse prints, 
either of a religious character or representing the exploits of 
Yermak ; one corner always contains a picture of some saint, 
gilded in the Byzantine style. In the inscription under one pic- 
ture of the twelve apostles, the artist had made a slight mistake, 
by placing the two before the one, thus making it read " The 21 
Apostles." A lamp always hangs before these shrines, and no 
Russian e'^r enters the room without immediately facing them 
and making three times the sign of the cross. 

It would be' difficult to find a country in which the people are 
more superstitious than in Russia. JSI o Russian maiden will be 
left alone withTier lover in a room where there is a picture of a 
saint; to meet a priest on leaving a house, is an omen of evil, 
which can be charmed away only by throwing a pin at him, if 
you are a woman, or by spitting on his beard, if you are a man. 
The aversion (which we find in other countries) to beginning 
any ent erprise on Friday, and to making th e thirteenth perso n 
at tabic , here assumes an importance unknown el sewher e, and a 

418 A0B03S AMERICA AND ASIA. [chap, xxviii. 

Russi an will instantly leave a room where three lights happen to 
be on one table. 

At Tiiimen 1 remained over one day. Unfortunately the great 
fair; which is held here every year in January, was now finished, 
and the visitors which I had hoped to see from many parts of 
Asia, had departed. The only consolation I obtained for this 
loss was a dish of sterlet, a species of sturgeon peculiar to the 
rivers of western Siberia and to the tributaries of the Caspian. 
It is certainly the most delicious of all fishes , and is perhaps 
the greatest delicacy in the markets of St. Petersburg. 

Not long after leaving Tiumen the road entered upon the gen- 
tle ascent of the eastern flanls of the Ural mountains. This range 
is so low, and its approach, especially from the east, so easy, that 
I reached Ekaterinburg without appreciating the fact that I was 
near the summit of one of the most celebrated mountain ranges 
of the world. 

At Ekaterinburg I presented letters of introduction to Colonel 
Lenartzen, the director of the mint. A cordial reception ex- 
tended to me by this gentleman induced me to remain for several 
days, in order to make some interesting excursions in the neigh- 
borhood. . The first day was passed in visiting the mint, where 
only coj^per is coined, and afterward in the stone-cutting estab- 
lishments belonging to Government and to private individuals. 
In the imperial establishment are made the gi'eater part of those 
vases, tables, and columns of malachite, jasper, aventurine quartz, 
and porphyry, which adorn the palaces of Europe. In the pri- 
vate workshops smaller objects of ornament are made from the 
many beautiful minerals of Asia ; the chief of these are malachite, 
rhodonite, lapis-lazuli, aqua-marine, topaz, and quartz in all its 
forms, of agate, chalcedony, jasper, bloodstone, amethyst, and clear 
and smoky rock crystal. 

, On the second day, in company with Colonel Lenartzen, I drove 
out to the nearest gold-washings, about nine wersts from Ekater- 
inburg. The country is so slightly undulating as to be almost a 
plain. The placers are in the small swampy depressions occupied 
by rivulets. Here, under a covering of about ten feet of sand 
capped with peat, there lies a bed about two feet thick of auri- 
ferous sand, which is very clayey, and contains large quantities 
of fragments of chloritic and greenstone schists, quartz, diorite. 

CHAP, xxvni.] SIBERIA. 419 

etc. This material, after being thawed (in winter), is throwr 
upon a large circular iron plate, called chashha, perforated with 
holes one-half inch in diameter, where, in order to clear the gravel 
ind fragments from the auriferous clay and sand, it is submitted 
to the attrition of heavy iron rakes, moved by a vertical shaft, 
which rises through the centre of the perforated table. On this 
table, which had rather more than ten feet diameter, about two 
thousand puds are worked in ten hours. 

This preparatory process, which has for its object merely the 
separation of coarse gravel and rubble from the pay-dirt, is per- 
formed, where this is comparatively free from clay, in revolving 
perforated cylinders or botchka. From both machines the sand, 
with its gold, after passing through the holes, is brought upon a 
kind of graduated inclined plane, something like a German liegeder- 
herd, consisting of a series of short inclined terraces of boards, 
upon which the finer gravel and sand, after falling from the pre- 
vious machine, is manipulated with scrapers for the purpose of 
concentrating the gold. The success of this second process de- 
pends entirely upon the skill of the workmen, whose duty it is to 
keep the mass from accumulating, and the clay from settling into 
a stiff bed, over which the gold would escape ; for this purpose 
he uses a broad wooden hoe and a spade. The greater part of 
the gold remains on the upper terrace. The sediment remain- 
ing upon the different terraces is removed three times a day to a 
small liegeder-herd (the same that is used for trials), and is here 
Avashed to its final separation. The yield for the day was about 
one solothnik of gold per 100 puds of the pay-dirt. 

At the placers of Biriasowsk, near Ekaterinburg, the average 
yield is 23 dolias per 100 puds, an amount which pays when the 
auriferous deposit is not more than three feet and a half below 
the surface. 

A chashha twelve feet in diameter is said to be capable of 
working about 7,000 puds in eleven hours. In the Ural they are 
preferred to the revolving cylinders, because they require much 
less power to turn them. The latter machine is used chiefly in